From Arutz Sheva: Education Ministry Director General Dalit Stauber on Wednesday morning defended the Ministry’s policy of keeping schools open despite the wave of infections.

Speaking to 103 FM Radio, Stauber said, “Our policy is consistent: Keep educational institutions open. We believe that even when infection rates rise, the most important thing is to preserve children’s routines.”

“The results of remote learning in Israel are horrible. So long as the economy is open, the schools will be open.”

She added that out of 2,450,000 students, over 2,250,000 attend school each day, while another 140,000 are sick or test positive for coronavirus. According to her, 50% of elementary school students are exempt from quarantine due to recovery from coronavirus or vaccination.

“Let’s put it in proportion,” she emphasized. “The system is working in a time of emergency.”

“Reality is complex, we are operating under conditions which are difficult conditions, but the other options are much worse.”

When asked why schools should remain open if teachers are busier with antigen tests than they are with teaching, and students do not always come, Stauber explained, “Connection, a significant adult, social connections, and definitely learning as well – though not at the same pace that we have during normal times” are all important and taking place at school.

When asked for her opinion on a plan that would close schools for two to three weeks until the Omicron wave passes, and deduct those weeks from other vacations, Stauber reiterated, “We are working according to the same plan as the economy. So long as the economy is open, the schools will remain open.”

“The situation is complicated,” she admitted, insisting that the Education Ministry is working closely with the Health Ministry. She emphasized, “The Education Minister is making every effort in order to allow more routine along with protecting children’s health safety in open schools.”

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