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Schoolbells Are Ringing

Some 1.4 million schoolchildren–about one out of every three Israelis–returned to the classrooms Tuesday, at the end of the summer vacation. The figure of 1,370 million students was some 20,000 more than at the start of the last school year. University students begin their academic year in October.

The Education Ministry reported fewer than usual problems with the start of this school year. Teachers decided not to implement a threatened strike Monday night, saying that sufficient progress had been made in salary negotiations to allow them to start work on time.

Schools in the Arab sector, with some 200,000 pupils, will open Wednesday in a demonstrative move against the shortage of classrooms.

Education Minister Yitzhak Navon explained his Ministry had not been able to keep up with a great increase in the number of Arab pupils which, he said, was mainly due to greater acceptance on the part of Arab fathers of education for their daughters.