An Israeli classroom
An Israeli classroom. Photo by Nir Kafri
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Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar yesterday recommended having students rise when the teachers enter the classroom.

Speaking at a school principals' conference ahead of the new school year, Sa'ar said both he and Education Ministry director general Shimshon Shoshani are in favor of students' standing up at the beginning of each lesson.

However, he said it was not mandatory and it was up to every school to decide for itself.

"Rising shows respect for the teacher and marks the beginning of the lesson, thus enabling more efficient use of the study time," Sa'ar said.

In recent months Sa'ar held a number of debates on mandatory rising when teachers enter the classroom. People who took part in the debates said the move was part of the ministry's bid to "restore order and discipline to the system."

The recommendation for students to rise follows the ministry's decision to introduce uniforms in elementary and junior high schools.

"The Education Ministry chiefs are wrong if they think standing up will restore the teacher's respect," the National Parents Association chairwoman Etti Benjamin said.

"No student will respect the teacher because he is forced to stand up, unless they establish relations of mutual respect. Unfortunately, programs encouraging respect and mutual listening hardly receive any support or attention," she said.