Secondary teachers end sanctions over learning disabilities reform

Teachers will be rewarded for their work with students with learning disabilities, school counselors will be exempt from filing paperwork, and each school will appoint a coordinator to oversee.

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February 25, 2015 03:52
1 minute read.
School

Children at school. (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)

The Secondary Teachers Association announced an end to sanctions after a discussion at the National Labor Court in the capital.

The teachers reached an agreement late on Monday evening with the Education and Finance ministries and local authorities regarding sanctions announced in November over the reform implemented by then-education minister Shai Piron for students with learning disabilities.

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In the compromise, teachers will be rewarded for their work with students with learning disabilities, school counselors will be exempt from filing paperwork, and each school will appoint a coordinator to oversee the reform.

Under the reform, students with learning disabilities will no longer require professional certification to receive certain benefits in school.

The changes included the establishment of school committees that will, for the first time, decide what benefits to grant students with learning disabilities – without the students having to undergo external professional evaluation.

According to the ministry, this aimed to increase the trust placed in educators to better learn the needs and challenges facing each student, though this meant increased responsibility and paperwork for the teachers.

As such, the teachers’ association had protested the added workload that the reform imposed upon them and declared sanctions.

Under the compromise, the teachers have agreed to handle all the remaining student cases and file all the necessary paperwork by March 18.

Michal Cohen, director-general of the Education Ministry, welcomed the agreement. “It ensures the implementation of the rights of students and the work routine of the education system ahead of the 2015 matriculation exams,” she said.

The National Student Council issued a statement on Tuesday welcoming the arrangement but warning against imposing sanctions at the expense of the students.

“We welcome the agreement formulated between the teachers association, the Education Ministry and the Finance Ministry, but in the same breath we are sorry that the sanctions on the back of the students do not stop and have become a way of achieving goals for the [teachers’] organization,” the statement read.

“Our next mission is to eliminate the sanctions regarding annual class trips that have returned for some unknown reason,” the students wrote.


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