Children in grades one and two will be able to attend class at least four days per week, according to a plan prepared by the Education Ministry that will be approved Thursday at the coronavirus cabinet meeting.
The original plan was to return children to their classrooms only three days per week in capsules of up to 18 students.
The change, according to Education Minister Yoav Gallant, was made possible by reducing the number of days that third and fourth graders will learn live in their classrooms from five to four. It is not yet clear if there will be distance learning on the days the children are not in school.
Municipalities that can offer five days in school will be able to do so.
All studies will take place in capsules of up to 18 students, as originally requested by the Health Ministry.
“The plan is to return elementary school students to five days of schooling,” Gallant said. He said that the damage to students who have not been in school is on multiple fronts – both educational and psychological.
“I believe in our principals and teachers, who together with the heads of authorities, will run the educational institutions in the best way possible,” he said.
Gallant said that the coronavirus cabinet had charged him with coming up with an optimal plan for the next two weeks, at which time the cabinet in conjunction with the Health Ministry could review infection data and make a decision to change the plan. The plan was made after consultation with district principals and the heads of the local authorities.
The Education Ministry is considering postponing matriculation exams for older students, which generally take place in November and December to January in order to give pupils more time to study.