Education minister a no-show at Knesset meeting on opening school year

"The Education Ministry ordered everyone to boycott this discussion," said Blue and White MK Ram Shea.

YOAV GALLANT: The Iranians are the most significant and dangerous threat to Israel and the entire Western world.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
YOAV GALLANT: The Iranians are the most significant and dangerous threat to Israel and the entire Western world.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Education Minister Yoav Gallant refused to appear at the Knesset on Wednesday to present his ministry’s plans to open the school year and answer questions from members of the Knesset Education Committee.
Gallant “ordered everyone [in his ministry] to boycott this discussion,” said Blue and White MK Ram Shefa.
“The Minister works very hard and doesn’t have time,” said Likud MK Keti Shitrit. 
Gallant requested the committee postpone the date of the meeting three times already and informed its members that he would also not be there on Wednesday.
“The budget of the [‘Studying in Safety’] plan will be discussed in the Knesset in the next few days,” Gallant said. 
The NIS 4.2 billion “Studying in Safety” plan championed by Gallant calls for a flexible educational model in which grades five and up will combine remote learning and attending school in response to the severity of the coronavirus outbreak.
The ministry lacks thousands of teachers if children will be taught in smaller classes, known as capsules, and it’s unclear how 20% of the nation’s children, who do not have a computer, will be able to study remotely.   
Head of the Teacher’s Union Yafa Ben-David spoke with the committee about the worries elderly and at-risk teachers have should they be asked to teach classes during the pandemic. She demanded further teaching staff be recruited to handle the workload. 
At the end of the previous school year, Gallant attempted to twist the arm of the teacher’s unions to “get under the stretcher” and teach during the summer break without extra pay to compensate for classes lost during the coronavirus outbreak.
After requesting the court several times to postpone sessions, the court eventually ruled in favor of the teachers and rebuked the ministry for failing to present its position in a timely manner.