Parents across the country breathed an audible sigh of relief on Thursday as summer vacation officially came to an end as Israel’s 2,232,172 children started the new school year.
Israel’s 2,232,172 pupils began a new school and kindergarten year on Thursday at some 4,000 educational institutions across the country.
Entering the classroom for the first time, 158,958 first-graders excitedly and anxiously joined their peers as they set foot on their path to knowledge. Some 123,000 12th graders began their last year of high school.
The new students include 37 new immigrants from Ukraine who landed in Israel this week, nine of them who began the first grade.
The school system will be led by some 180,000 teachers.
The school year commenced with special events, many attended by Israel’s leadership.
The ministry of education has set strategic goals for the coming year: the promotion of a “significant and quality” learning experience that will lead to academic achievements, self-actualization and excellence and the “strengthening of Jewish and Zionist values. “
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennet opened the school year at the “Tamra Haemek” public elementary school in the Arab village of Tamra.
Netanyahu and Bennett were welcomed by the school’s approximately 200 pupils – in Hebrew, Arabic and English – in a festive ceremony.
“Boys and girls, I want each and every one of you to do two things: First, learn. Second, be good children. Listen to your parents and your teachers; listen to your teacher,” said Netanyahu.
“I want you to listen to me because I want you to learn – learn to write, learn to read, learn Hebrew, Arabic and English. I want you to learn mathematics. I want you to learn science. I want you to learn history – history of the Jewish People, the history of your public. I want you to learn the truth, and the truth says that we were destined to live together,” he added.
He called on them to become “doctors, scientists and writers, and be whatever you want to – and are able to – be. I want you to be loyal citizens, integrated into the State of Israel; this is your state.”
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News