Three Hours in the Teachers' Lounge, 10 Hours at City Hall, No Hours in the Classroom

Aschalo Sama did not wait for his mother, Firmos, to wake him up yesterday morning. The night before, the family was finally told that the crisis between three religious Petah Tikva schools and the Education Ministry had been resolved, and Aschalo, 6, would be sent to the one of the city's religious state school's, "Morasha."

Aschalo entered the school gates carrying a large backpack, his mother at his side. He had packed the bag the day before, waiting for his first day in the first grade.

"I feel nice here and I really want to learn to read and write," he said. "I wanted to go to school even though it's a little bit scary."

But Aschalo did not reach the classroom yesterday.

From the gate, he was sent to the teachers' lounge, where he and his mother waited for three hours before being told by management that they need to go back to the municipality.

Aschalo, still with his backpack, and his mother waited at the education department of Petah Tikva City Hall until 8 P.M., before finally deciding to return home.

Back to city hall

It's still unclear where Aschalo will be studying; all that they know is that they have to return to city hall again today.

In the past few days, Aschalo's father, Zamana, has not been going to work, keeping an eye over his son. Yesterday Firmos took a day off her cleaning job to walk her son for his first day of school.

"You can't just go to work and leave the boy on his own, but we've been taking a day off after a day off and you can't go on like that, either," she said. "On Monday we were told everything had worked out. We were really happy. Everyone was so thrilled. But today at school Aschalo sat drawing pictures for three hours, until they finally said they can't admit us. I don't know why. I don't know what to do. My heart aches."