(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Although Operation Pillar of Defense has led southern municipalities to suspend
classes at area schools, the World ORT organization is offering children there
an alternative way to study.
The organization’s Israeli branch, World ORT
Kadima Mada, which conducts many educational projects in the periphery, launched
a distance- learning program on Sunday to allow pupils to continue studying
under rocket fire.
Avi Ganon, the branch’s executive director, explained
that the organization was working with four schools in the South and had
provided over 100 personal computers to middle and high school students
In addition, the organization, in coordination with the Education
Ministry, uses the online service eTeacher to provide instructors with “Internet
space” to conduct classes.
“The kids and teachers are given a link
through which they can access a lesson which takes place via chat, webcam and
voice,” Ganon told The Jerusalem Post.
“For now, since Sunday, it’s
working great, at least for one school,” he added, explaining that “in the other
schools, a lot of children have left the region, so it’s not as big, but those
who are still in the region use it.”
The same learning system was
previously implemented for hospitalized children in the Barzilai and Soroka
medical centers, in Ashkelon and Beersheba respectively.
that World ORT was also planning a two-day educational trip to the North for
children affected by the recent escalation.
Sinaya Aharonov, a fifth-grade
teacher in Kiryat Malachi, said children in her school were used to the school
closing because of rockets.
“It’s not the first time – unfortunately
we’re organized for this,” she said.
“We interact via the Internet – I
give them homework and tasks to complete,” she continued. “We also have a class
blog, which functions in times of emergency and helps us
Aharonov added that she also tried to keep in touch with
her students by calling them and their parents regularly. If the situation
continues to escalate, she and her colleagues have been instructed to organize
classrooms in student’s homes.
“The kids are used to it now, they
understand it. But of course, a lot of them also develop fears, so we try to
refer them to counselors who can help them with that,” she said.
Malachi resident Debbie Levy is a mother of three: Ori, 11, Gal, 16, and Shlomi,
who is serving in the IDF. Her two youngest sons have not been to school since
Thursday, when the Home Front Command ordered the institutions to stay
“The teachers are making all possible efforts, especially using
the computers to teach,” she said, adding, “They call and write to ask about the
kids and how they feel.”
But she also explained that despite her attempts
to keep their usual routine going, her boys were distracted by the
“Every time there is an alarm, they have to leave the computer
to go to the shelter. They’re never working for more than five or 10
minutes,” she told the Post
Of course, she added, “we adults are also
too distracted to think of telling them to do homework, and follow what they
She noted that the kids were also interested in watching the news.
“They want to sit in front of the television, see the Iron Dome interceptions
and hear the booms. So it’s hard for them to focus.”