Cabinet approves new Education Ministry director after row over predecessor’s sacking

The cabinet approved a new director-general for the education ministry on Sunday, after a high-profile row between education minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and the former director led to the latter’s dismissal.

Ministers endorsed Shasha-Biton’s choice of Dalit Stauber, a long-serving educator who previously held the same post in 2011-2013 under then-minister Gideon Sa’ar, the current leader of the New Hope Party of Shasha-Biton.

Stauber was recently a lecturer at Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono.

“Dalit is a professional and worthy educator,” Shasha-Biton said in a statement. “Together, we can advance the professional programs of the ministry and bring stability to the education system.

Last week Shasha-Biton fired former manager Yigal Slovik amid reported disagreements over COVID policies.

Associates of Slovik allegedly alleged that the dispute with Shasha-Biton centered on the government’s decision to vaccinate children at school. The associates also claimed that Slovik and Shasha-Biton disagreed on what steps to take in view of another wave of COVID-19 infections.

Then the Education Ministry’s coronavirus policy chief, Yogev Nadav, resigned, reinforcing the hypothesis that Shasha-Biton’s dismissal of Slovik was linked to disagreements over coronavirus vaccines for children. children. According to Hebrew media, Nadav’s resignation was linked to Shasha-Biton’s dismissal of Slovik.

Shasha-Biton insisted the disagreements had nothing to do with the pandemic.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and Ministry Director Yigal Slovik speak during a press conference in Tel Aviv on August 31, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Last Tuesday, a civil servant who had worked in Slovik’s office and was fired with him told Channel 12 that Shasha-Biton had blocked her from providing real morbidity figures to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett due to fears that they lead to the closure of schools.

Shasha-Biton denied the charges, saying the comments about concealing disease rates were part of a “media revenge campaign” the former employee was waging with Slovik.

“It’s a bunch of lies,” the minister said. “The fact that the employee was not interviewed with her face revealed and in her own voice…proves that this is a collection of lies.”

Foreign Secretary Yair Lapid voiced his support for Shasha-Biton after the former employee’s comments aired, hailing her “professionalism and integrity”.

“All slander will be useless. We continue to change the country together,” Lapid tweeted.

Also coming to his defense, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar said Shasha-Biton made the “right decisions” in firing Slovik and choosing Stauber to replace him.

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