Gov't Approves Plan to Reduce Number of Students per Classroom

The government also approved that as of the next school year, first and second graders will be divided into classes of 20 in certain important subjects.

The government approved a plan Sunday that will reduce the number of students per classroom to 32 over the next decade. The reduction will first take place in schools located in communities with a low socio-economic population and will gradually spread to all elementary and high schools within ten years.

The government also approved a plan set to come into effect next year that divides first and second graders into classes of 20 in certain important subjects such as mathematics and reading. The price of the education reform stands at around NIS 2.3 billion.

The demand to reduce the size of classes was first raised during the secondary school teachers' strike that lasted for months earlier this year. A government promise to formulate a plan to reduce the number of students per class was part of the agreement that treasury and teacher representatives reached to end the strike.

A committee headed by Professor Izhak Friedman has convened in order to decide how the education reform should be executed. According to Education Ministry officials, the committee is debating between quickly reducing the number of students in a small amount of schools or to slow down the reduction process but expand the number of schools which benefit from the program.