Classes to resume nationwide on Fri.

Teachers strike delays final exams; Education Ministry threatens legal action.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
High schools throughout Israel will hold regular classes on Friday, and Friday matriculation exams and preparatory courses for the bagrut tests will take place as scheduled, the Secondary School Teachers Union announced on Thursday. Exceptions were the Amal and Ort schools, where the strike will continue for grades 7-12, the organization said. Meanwhile, high school pupils scheduled to sit for Thursday's matriculation exams found themselves with extra time to cram as the teachers resumed their strike and upped the stakes, blocking the day's exams. The teachers' move appeared to be a violation of an injunction issued Monday by the National Labor Court, which ordered the teachers to continue preparing their pupils for the matriculation exams, but did not require them to stop their strike in any subject not related to the exams. However, the Secondary School Teachers Organization said that their gambit "postponed" the exams, rather than canceling them, and was therefore not a violation of the court's order. The Education Ministry has threatened to return to the court by next week if the teachers continued to block exams, while SSTO officials have said that matriculation exams would take place as required immediately following the strikes. Meanwhile, the ministry has set up a hotline (1-800-250-025) where pupils and parents can report schools where teachers have interfered with Thursday's exams. Education Minister Yuli Tamir criticized the teachers' move, saying that the ministry was committed to every qualified pupil being allowed to sit for their exams. This was why, Tamir said, the ministry had asked for an injunction.