Tel Aviv Municipality opens up public institutions to house classrooms

Written by on September 1, 2020

This is one of the many creative solutions the municipality has concocted for the education system amid the ongoing health crisis.

A view of Tel Aviv, including the Charles Bronfman Auditorium. (photo credit: GUY YECHIELY)

A view of Tel Aviv, including the Charles Bronfman Auditorium.

(photo credit: GUY YECHIELY)

The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality will be opening up public institutions to house classrooms in outside the traditional walls of the school, as Israeli children head back to classes on Tuesday.

While working under strict Health Ministry guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the municipality prepared for the return of nearly 75,000 students by opening up these institutions to house primary education classes within – considering the influx of students could lead to an outbreak if not dealt with delicately.

“The coronavirus outbreak hurled the entire world into a new reality, and presented us with a challenge of an unprecedented nature. Given the experience of recent months, we have made special preparations for the opening of the new school year,” said Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

“The schools of September 2020 will be unlike the schools that we have known to date. The coming year will bring new challenges, but there are also opportunities: to implement upgrades; to accelerate pedagogical and structural processes for which the time is now ripe; and to reexamine our educational premises. We have prepared for every scenario that we are expected to confront this year in the shadow of the coronavirus, and we are all hopeful that this year will advance us to unprecedented and different levels of ability.”

This is one of the many creative solutions the municipality has concocted for the education system amid the ongoing health crisis.

The municipality has also trained some 80 local artists and performers as temporary educational aides to supplement the pre-existing teaching staff, considering many with a career in the arts have been impacted by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.

Additionally, the municipality invited 200 street performers to perform at the gates of many of the schools in order to boost the income of the performers and the morale of the children.

First day of classes will work along the lines of boosting morale, where teachers will hold group conversations regarding the upcoming school year, with an “emphasis on enhancing their emotional and social skills.”

Within their plan, the municipality intends to utilize a range of public buildings, parks, green spaces, theaters as well as auditoriums, so that it may breakdown classrooms into smaller groups. Buildings and institutions such as Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater, the Charles Bronfman Auditorium (Heichal HaTarbut), the Israel Music Conservatory and Tel Aviv University.

Cameri Theater - Credit: Barak BrinkerCameri Theater – Credit: Barak Brinker

The municipality has also begun working on the infrastructure of 137 school playgrounds spread across the city – focusing mainly on providing more areas of shade and artificial grass for longevity.

“The past six months have presented educational teams in kindergartens and schools with management and educational challenges. We have translated all the lessons learned and insights into optimal preparations for September,” said Head of Tel Aviv-Yafo’s Education Administration Shirley Rimon-Bracha. “Education in the city has undergone significant reform in recent years, and school principals are therefore relatively prepared to acclimatize to change, to adjust educational frameworks and to work with flexibility and creatively. I expect an interesting and educational year for us all, and I pay tribute to school and kindergarten heads for their exceptional effort to open the new school year.”

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