On Tuesday, July 18, the sub-Commission that studied the issue of reducing school holidays, submitted its recommendations to the education Committee of the Knesset.
The sub-Commission recommended to shorten the summer holidays to six weeks and to postpone the beginning of the academic year from 1 September on the first day of the Jewish Elul. The sub-Commission also recommends to cancel the holiday on the holiday of Lag b’omer and the next day after the holidays of Purim and Shavuot.
At the same time, the Subcommission recommends five long weekends a year, when schools will not have classes on Fridays, «link» holidays Yom Kippur and Sukkot, as well as to pay the parents compensation for some days.
The parliamentarians also recommended to extend the project «school summer holidays» Easter and Hanukkah holidays.
According to the recommendations of the Commission, the academic year in schools for children with special needs will continue until the last decades of the Jewish month of AV. The deputies recommended to adopt a law that provides insurance for teachers and educators coming into schools in preparation for the new school year.
Direct project cost is estimated at 900 million shekels. According to the authors of the project, almost the same amount of money Israel’s economy will save thanks to the abolition of the weekend.
The head of the Subcommittee of the Knesset Oded Forer («Israel Our home») called on the Ministers of education and Finance to begin negotiations with the teacher unions on the implementation of this proposal. The sub-Commission proposes to introduce the changes gradually, and complete the implementation of the program 1.9.2019 year (that year is and the first number of the Jewish Elul).
The recommendation received support from the Minister of economy Ali Cohen («Kulan») and head of the parents ‘ forum of the cities of Israel Paz Cohen.
As might be expected, the teachers Union of Israel sharply criticized the Commission’s recommendations and have threatened to paralyze the beginning of the school year. «The teachers Union is negotiating with the Ministry of education, not the Knesset — said the head of the Union of Yaffa Ben-David. She added: «the Only real possibility is the extension of the project «school summer holidays». Any other project is unacceptable to us, and the attempt to impose on us anything threatening with the adoption of the law will come up against a strike of the whole education system – from kindergarten to high school. We will unleash a struggle, the like of which the state was not yet known».
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