Parents’ organizations plan to resume school disruptions throughout the country on Friday to protest overcrowded classrooms, following an unsuccessful meeting on Thursday with Education Ministry officials.
The meeting between the forum of community parents’ committees and ministry director-general Michal Cohen was held at the request of Knesset Education Committee Chair MK Yakov Margi (Shas), in the wake of the nationwide protests the group has been leading to lower the number of students per classroom.
At the meeting, which, at the Education Ministry’s request, was also attended by representatives of the National Parents’ Association, the decision was made to form a joint action team comprised of representatives from both parents’ organizations and the Education Ministry.
At the end of the meeting, however, forum members felt that there was no substantial progress towards changing the standard to 32 students per classroom. It was also understood that no directives had yet been issued to prevent the merging of classes – which will lead to some classes having as many as 40 students. Therefore, the forum decided to resume and intensify the disruptions around the country gradually, until a general nationwide strike will be declared for a soon–to–be announced date. The forum of community parents’ committees is also calling for the dialogue with the Education Ministry to be accelerated.
Summer vacation for secondary schools begins tomorrow, so the strikes over the next 10 days will affect only primary schools which end the year on June 30. The forum’s demands are: to reduce the maximum number of students per class to 32 in every classroom, and that in the first stage, in the coming school year, no first grade classes have more than 32 students, and that classes not be merged to exceed that number.
Starting Friday, the school disruptions will resume in a number of schools around the country.
Continual updates will be publicized on the forum’s Facebook page. On Sunday, the strike will affect schools in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Givatayim.
The Forum of Community Parents’ Committees calls on the government, the Knesset, city mayors, local authorities, teachers’ organizations and everyone who cares about this issue to lend their support.