Knesset Sends Outdoor Study Plan Back for Further Study

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli kids in class during the start of the new school year, in Yerushalayim, September 1. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

While first to fourth graders were tentatively set to return to school next week, the government was still searching for a solution for fifth to twelfth graders, who so far are being left home to learn remotely.

The Knesset rejected Wednesday a government proposal to allow outdoor studies for the upper grades while classrooms remain locked down until some questions can be answered satisfactorily.

The Health Ministry approved outdoor classes for up to 15 people with a distance of 300 feet between groups.

But the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee voted it down unanimously. Instead, they proposed groups of 20 and a distance of 150 feet between groups

“The regulations suggested by the government are illogical,” said committee chairman Ram Shefa (Blue and White). “No professional has managed to explain why the groups are being limited to 15 each. The Education Ministry also couldn’t explain it during this morning’s meeting.

“Rewriting the regulations would enable more hours of study for students and save the school year,” he asserted.

In response, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ said the committee’s comments would be considered:

“Tomorrow we will discuss the exit strategy at the coronavirus cabinet, and I am discussing improvements to the education plan with the Education Ministry and local authorities, checking various options,” he premier said.