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Israel Education Ministry cancels concessions for matriculation exams, parents protest

February 17, 2022

Original Article: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-694520

The Education Ministry has canceled concessions that were previously given to high school students for their matriculation exams (or 'Bagruyot' in Hebrew.), which has caused an uproar amongst teachers, students and parents, Ynet reported on Tuesday morning.

The ministry initially gave concessions to high schoolers for their exams due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused schools to close for an extended period of time and has forced Israeli students to learn via Zoom.

This decision has made parents of the students go out and protest against the ministry's decision. Furthermore, the Education Ministry has not reduced the amount of material for matriculation.

One student said: "We're afraid that we'll fail our Bagruyot and that we will be tested on material that we did not manage to study."

One year ago, the Education Ministry made adjustments to the format of Israel’s bagrut (matriculation) exams that have been previously adjusted to contend with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, where the new format is aimed at helping students succeed on these exams.

The changes the ministry made then included 25% for all students, changes on language exams and additional test dates, which students can use to retake exams in order to improve their grades.

"Instead of relieving the students who are in distress due to COVID-19, they cancel the concessions that have already been given and proceed with everything as if there is no pandemic," the National Parents' Leadership complained.

"If restrictions aren't lifted, the students of the third COVID year will experience a disastrous exam season," the leadership also said.

Mirom Schiff, Chairman of National Parents' Leadership, wrote to the Education Ministry, saying: "The situation on the ground is not simple, it is very difficult for students to learn. They have not been studying regularly. We must not ignore that and move on. We must reduce material, give everyone extra time and give more choices."

In response to the backlash, the Education Ministry said that they will "examine the issue in all its aspects to ensure the success of students and will update everyone accordingly."

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