Schools Open on Uncertain Note

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in a classroom appearance on the first day of school, in the southern town of Yeruham, Wednesday. (Flash90)

Even as Israeli schools boldly went ahead with their opening on schedule Wednesday, despite coronavirus concerns, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett could not help but express the government’s uncertainty.

While Bennett pledged that “we will continue to make supreme efforts so that all Israeli students will be able to learn,” he went on to say that “we cannot guarantee that result, but we can guarantee 100 percent effort.”

“Therefore, after a year of Zoom, a difficult year of staring into screens, I want to congratulate you, the pupils of Israel, with one blessing: May the year of screens come to an end, and may a year of experiences begin,” he said during a visit to a school in the southern town of Yeruham.

In fact, about 250,000 students currently in quarantine, will have to study remotely.

But focusing on the bright side, the Education Ministry noted that 88 percent of students arrived for classes on the first day—almost 2.5 million from kindergarten to 12th grade—far exceeding expectations, given the worries of parents and government officials that renewed in-person studies will likely drive the infection rate even higher.

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