Israel Delays Plans to Shorten Summer Vacation Until Next School Year

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Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar on Monday caved into pressure from teachers and parents and announced that he would postpone plans to shorten the summer vacation until the next school year.

Sa'ar announced last week that the vacation would be cut by six days,  in both schools and kindergartens on August 26, starting this year. Extra days were to be added to the vacations during the High Holidays, Hanukkah and Passover.

Gideon Sa'ar, during term as education minister, speaking before Israel Manufacturers Association.Credit: Nir Kedar

The education minister gave final approval to the changes, following recommendations by a public committee he appointed a year ago headed by former treasury director general Shmuel Slavin.

Sa'ar announced Monday that these changes would only mplemented in a year's time, after a meeting with the Teacher's Association head Yossi Vaserman, who supported the general move.but voiced reservations about the decision to go forth with the plan thios year.

"The organization agrees with the Education Ministry's proposal and accepts it. This decision is a result of the joint deliberations in the special committee set up for this purpose," the Teachers' Association said in response to last week's decision.

However, national Parent-Teachers Association chairman Eti Binyamin slammed the decision.

"I think that someone at the Health Ministry has gone mad," Binyamin said. "This is neither a professional nor a responsible decision. We are in favor of cutting the summer holiday but certainly not by six days and certainly not by adding days in the holidays which are unnecessary from the start, like Hanukkah and the holiday before Passover."