Israeli Schools Likely to Remain Closed After Passover

Health Ministry remains vague, Education Minister denies rumors schools will remain closed until the end of the school year

Shira Kadari-Ovadia
Shira Kadari-Ovadia
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An empty school in Tel Aviv after Israel shut schools last week as part of precautionary measures against coronavirus. March 15, 2020
An empty school in Tel Aviv after Israel shut schools last week as part of precautionary measures against coronavirus. March 15, 2020.Credit: CORINNA KERN/ REUTERS
Shira Kadari-Ovadia
Shira Kadari-Ovadia

Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov said Monday he did not expect the school year to resume after the Passover vacation ends on April 16.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 72

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“Most of the activities will not resume, but we will be able to restore activities in an organized and supervised manner,” he told Kan Bet public radio. Bar Siman Tov added that he did not want to name a date for returning to the pre-coronavirus routine: “I don’t know, I don’t want to say because coordinating expectations is important,” he said.

Last week, Education Minister Rafi Peretz wrote on Twitter: “The school system that I head is preparing for a continuation of distance learning after Pesach, because we don’t know where things are going.

“The school system is preparing for every scenario, the country needs us.” Peretz wrote, stressing that he never said, as posts in social media groups for parents of schoolchildren reported, that Israeli schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

“I’ve received many questions in the wake of an interview I gave to news anchor Oded Ben Ami,” Peretz wrote. “At no point were the words ‘September 1’ mentioned.”

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