As Operation Protective Edge enters its third day on Thursday, schools and summer camps in the South are set to remain closed, while throughout the Center and Sharon regions children are expected to maintain a normal routine.

The Education Ministry announced on Wednesday that the second testing opportunity for the matriculation exam in mathematics set to take place on Thursday would continue as scheduled according to Home Front Command guidelines.

In communities located within the range of missiles, including Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem, Menashe, Emek Hefer, Sharon, Gush Dan and the Shfela region, the matriculation exam will be held only in educational institutions with protected areas.

The same instructions were in place for communities located within a 0-40 km. radius, where the matriculation exam is also expected to take place only in educational institutions with protected areas and according to the guidelines of the security department in the Education Ministry.

The ministry also announced that it would set a third testing opportunity at a later date for students living in communities under constant missile threat that would not be able to take the exam.

A hotline for inquiries regarding the matriculation exam was also set up by the ministry and is available at (02) 560-4222.

In addition, the Psychological Counseling Service of the ministry opened a 24-hour hotline for parents and children operated by education professionals and psychologists offering emotional support, which can be reached at (02) 560-3733.

On Tuesday evening the Home Front Command issued orders to close schools, summer camp programs and daycare centers in Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and in communities located within a 0-40 km. radius, with the exception of communities surrounding Gaza including the Sdot Negev and Sha’ar Hanegev regions and Sderot, where classes and summer camps continued as normal in or in close proximity to protected areas.

The Tel Aviv Municipality announced that pre-schools and summer camps would continue to operate as usual.

“The city continues to operate normally,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai posted to his Facebook page on Wednesday. “We must remember – the reality every year of the communities around Gaza is harder than ours and they continue as usual. We live in a country that is under threat, and we must understand that Tel Aviv-Jaffa also remains under the line of fire, but we must continue to lead normal daily routines.”

The Jerusalem Municipality also issued a statement on Wednesday stating that summer camps and schools located in buildings where a safe space is available in close proximity would continue to operate as usual. The municipality asked to review emergency procedures with children upon their arrival.

The Herzliya Municipality announced on its Facebook page it had relocated all preschools and kindergartens operating in buildings without shelters to schools in the city with protected areas.

The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan all posted statements to their Facebook pages on Wednesday saying that final exams would be held as usual but that the universities would be flexible regarding students unable to take exams for security reasons.

Universities throughout the South canceled classes on Tuesday following instructions from the Home Front Command.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced all studies, tests, examinations and cultural events were canceled until Sunday morning.

Sapir Academic College outside Sderot also announced classes and final exams would be canceled through Saturday night while Ashkelon Academic College decided to cancel studies and tests scheduled for Wednesday.

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