girl in class 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Over a million elementary school students and kindergarten children, as well as
146,000 educators, began their 10-week summer vacation on Sunday as the
2012-2013 school year came to an end.
About 900,000 elementary pupils and
some 400,000 kindergarteners joined the 700,000 high school students who had
started summer break two weeks earlier.
The Education Ministry announced
the launch of the Educators Around The Clock program, a collaboration between
the ministry, teachers, local authorities and NGOs offering a range of
activities to students during the summer.
The activities – which are open
and adapted to children from kindergarten to the 12th grade – include sports
competitions, youth camps, field trips, shows, gatherings and all-night
“Education doesn’t end when the bell rings,” Dalit Stauber,
director-general of the ministry, told The Jerusalem Post. “This program is in
fact a new expression of the education system’s responsibility over pupils all
“We want the kids to feel that we care about them and that
what we teach them in school is also relevant to life outside the classroom,”
Before developing the program, Stauber pointed out, the
ministry called on schools to prepare pupils for the break with discussions
about topics such as managing their pocket money and how to safely use the
The ministry asked teachers to continue to communicate with
their students at their own discretion and as they see fit during the vacation.
Kindergarten educators were encouraged to send postcards to their pupils during
The activities and initiatives emerging from the Educators
Around The Clock program are aimed at “making sure kids are busy and that summer
will be [a] pleasant experience,” she said.
With their final report cards
for this year, students received coupons that included museum passes and show
Stauber stressed that as part of the program, volunteers from
the ministry and NGOs will travel with teenagers on buses to Eilat, to “talk to
them about how to maximize their experiences on the trip and avoid getting into
Gatherings will also be organized between Arab and
Jewish students as well as between secular and haredi children.
evening, Education Minister Shai Piron attended the first of these meetings
between Arab and Jewish students in Abu Ghosh, west of the capital.
statement by the psychological services department of the ministry, which will
provide services to parents and children throughout the summer, reads, “Summer
vacation is the time for our children to grow, develop, take a break from
institutional learning and allow themselves to engage in more intuitive and