Shai Piron at Kibbutzim College of Education 370.
(photo credit: Amir Reiner)
Education Minister Shai Piron held a meeting with education professionals,
parents and teachers’ representatives in Jerusalem on Monday to reexamine the
school vacation calendar.
A group of Jerusalem parents who started a
campaign last week called on Piron to shorten school holidays – which put a
strain on working parents who must improvise activities for their
The group of parents, led and supported by Jerusalem Council
member Rachel Azaria, initiated the debate on the subject as they protested the
first-ever twoday Lag Ba’omer school break on Sunday and Monday.
unanimously agreed at the meeting that five vacation days – which will be
subtracted from the end of the summer holiday (the school year will start August
27 instead of September 1) – will be restored during the 2013- 2014 school year,
adapted to parents’ schedules.
In a Facebook post on Sunday night, Piron
said these five days were the ones creating a continuous gap between the
children and parents’ holidays and are the cause of the recent Lag Ba’omer
According to the plan, Israeli pupils will receive three
days off between Yom Kippur and Sukkot as well as the first day of Hanukka and
an extra day after Shavuot.
Azaria, who was at the meeting on Monday,
said the discussion was a first step to solving the problem, but “the Education
Ministry cannot do it alone.”
“In order for a significant change to be
made, there must be a permanent committee which will partner with the Industry,
Trade and Labor Ministry,” she said. “A joint committee can make a significant
difference by adding vacation days for parents, along with reducing the amount
of children’s days off.”
The education minister has also instructed its
director-general, Dalit Stauber, to set up a committee in the coming weeks to
discuss the other aspects involved in students’ vacations.