Israeli schools to be closed until after Passover holiday, reports say

Israel will reportedly shutter schools to protect students during the pandemic.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s National Security Council together with the education and health ministries is reportedly going to announce the closure of the nation’s school system as a precautionary measure in the face of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

If the closure takes effect it would go at least until through the Passover holiday. Passover begins on April 3 and runs to April 15.

The site reports that a senior official in the ministry said, “From the information coming from education branch directors, because of the difficulties of running the systems – we’re preparing for an immediate closure of the education system.”

Although only 100 cases have been reported in Israel, there is a general feeling that the situation could slide out of control given the rise of cases worldwide.

“We’re working around the clock in a wide range of arenas to prepare for each scenario and to provide quality distance learning at the national, school, and student levels,” said Shmuel Abouab, Director General of the Ministry of Education said on Thursday, Ynet reports.

Yaffa Ben-David, secretary-general of  the Israel Teachers’ Union, urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to close the schools.

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“I call on the prime minister to show national responsibility for public health, including toward the country’s students, educators and their families, in order to stop the spread of the virus and the next victims,” she said in a message to education workers.

On Thursday, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said it would open the coming semester a week later than scheduled. Studies would be conducted online through video, it added.

University researchers in Israel expressed concern after the prime minister announced on Wednesday that gatherings of more than 100 would be banned, saying it might adversely affect their research work.