Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Yoav Kisch visited the Almog Primary School in Maaleh Adumim on Thursday, September 1, 2023, to mark the opening of the new school year. They were welcomed by Mayor Benny Kashriel, school principal Shlomit Cohen, and hundreds of excited students and teachers.
Netanyahu and Kisch toured the school and met with some of the first grade pupils, who were starting their first day of school. Netanyahu told them to “be kind” to each other and to “study well and listen to your teachers”. He also received a rubber bracelet from one of the students that called against bullying. He said he would wear it proudly and thanked the student for the gesture.
The prime minister also addressed the issue of the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the education system in the past two years. He said that his government was doing everything possible to ensure a safe and normal school year for all students, teachers, and parents. He praised the high vaccination rate among the eligible population and urged everyone to follow the health guidelines.
Netanyahu also expressed his support for the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, which is located east of Jerusalem and is considered part of the West Bank by most of the international community. He said that Maaleh Adumim was an integral part of Israel and that he would never agree to divide Jerusalem or give up any part of its historical homeland. He said that his government was working to expand and develop Maaleh Adumim and other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Education Minister Kisch also spoke at the event and congratulated the students and teachers on the new school year. He said that he was proud of the achievements of the Israeli education system, which ranked among the best in the world in various fields. He said that his ministry was investing in improving the quality of education, especially in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). He also emphasized the importance of fostering values such as democracy, tolerance, and mutual respect among the students.
The Almog Primary School is one of the largest and most advanced schools in Maaleh Adumim, with over 1,000 students from grades one to six. The school offers a variety of programs and activities for its students, such as music, art, sports, robotics, and environmental education. The school also has a special unit for students with special needs, who are integrated into the regular classes.
The new school year in Israel began on Thursday with over 2.4 million students returning to their classrooms after a long summer vacation. The school year is expected to last until June 30, 2024, with 216 school days in total. The education system faces many challenges due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which requires constant monitoring and adaptation to changing conditions. The Ministry of Education has prepared a contingency plan for different scenarios, such as local outbreaks or nationwide lockdowns, which may affect the operation of schools. The plan includes various modes of learning, such as online, hybrid, or capsule-based.