Less than stellar attendance for holiday school

These special school days during normal vacations are set to aid parents who would otherwise need to find childcare.

By
February 21, 2018 19:06
2 minute read.
Less than stellar attendance for holiday school

Students eating lunch at school (illustrative). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

With a little over a month until the Passover vacation, the Education Ministry announced that only 77% of municipalities have signed up to participate in the “School of the Holidays.”

To date, 199 municipalities have signed up for the program, out of 256, the ministry announced late Tuesday. An additional 38 municipalities have expressed an interest to join the program, though are experiencing difficulties, mainly in finding the manpower.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


To date, pupils in the education system have a total of 80 vacation days per year, compared with 12 vacation days for parents.

In January Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced a NIS 400 million plan to shorten school vacation days.

The plan called for some one million pupils in preschool through third grade, including special education to receive 10 added school days per academic year – the majority over the Hanukka and Passover holidays.

Despite this, the ministry published statistics revealing that municipalities, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Safed, Herzliya and Beersheba, have either not completed registration to the program or do not intend to.

An investigation by Israel Hayom published this week, which contacted 30 municipalities, found that a number of them, including Jerusalem, would not commit to operating the program in all schools as many cited a lack of qualified teaching staff.



In turn, the Education Ministry has said it is assisting municipalities in recruiting the necessary manpower from a pool of students, national service volunteers, teachers, caregivers, training centers and pre-military preparatory programs.

The plan is estimated to cost NIS 40m. per day and the ministry had promised that on the added days schools will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. while preschools will run from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include classes, cultural enrichment, and a full educational staff as well as security.

Parents will have to shoulder a small fraction of the costs according to the level of socioeconomic standing of the municipality. In weaker municipalities, the cost is free to parents, while in clusters five to seven the cost is NIS 20 per additional day and in the strongest municipalities, the cost to parents will stand at NIS 30 per day.

“We are working tirelessly to ensure that the children of Israel will begin to benefit from the framework of the holiday schools, led by Education Minister Bennett, and to spend leisure time in a rich and quality educational framework,” Shmuel Abuav, director- general of the Education Ministry said on Tuesday.

Abuav called the enlistment of municipalities into the program “satisfactory,” though he added that “we want to ensure that an overwhelming majority of authorities will register.”

Related Content

Kikar Hamedina in Tel Aviv
August 19, 2018
Drive-by shooting in Tel Aviv - Police have detained three suspects

By TAMARA ZIEVE