Network of 'boutique' science and tech schools planned for rural areas

World ORT Kadima Mada currently runs three schools in the periphery.

May 24, 2016 20:21
2 minute read.

New Kindergartens, Youth Center for Kiryat Malachi. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The World ORT education organization is seeking to establish a network of 25 “boutique” high schools excelling in science and technology studies in the Negev, Galilee and elsewhere in the periphery, the goal being to reduce socioeconomic gaps in the country.

Avi Ganon, CEO of World ORT Kadima Mada, the branch promoting science in Israel, said on Tuesday that Israelis living outside the country’s center were educationally disadvantaged and better schools in such regions were critical to reducing inequalities.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“I don’t want to hear about how only two pupils in the whole of Kiryat Malachi took five units of math for the high-school diploma. We cannot continue as a country with such a situation,” Ganon told The Jerusalem Post at World ORT’s general assembly in Jerusalem. “We need to work in the periphery, focus our resources on those areas, and reduce the gaps between pupils there and those from the center of the country.”

World ORT Kadima Mada currently runs three schools in the periphery, with another four now poised to join the new network. It seeks to expand to 25 schools within the next three years.

The organization says that the chain of schools will focus on educational fields relating to science and technology in order to provide pupils with the tools to deal with the requirements of modern economies.

Conrad Giles, the newly elected World ORT president, said the organization had succeeded in transforming itself to meet the needs of the Jewish people in changing times.

“Over last 136 years, we have given Jewish individuals the tools necessary for achieving quality of life,” Giles said. “Originally, we were involved in teaching Jews in Russia agriculture....

We have transformed our institution to meet the needs of our people in our changing society.”

At the assembly, which was held from Sunday to Tuesday, a World ORT initiative bridging its international educational services with its activities in Israel reached its zenith, with the finals of a debating competition for high school-aged girls.

Two debating teams, one from Sofia, Bulgaria, and one from east Jerusalem, took part in the final, having triumphed over other teams in their respective countries in earlier rounds. The teams were comprised of girls who had taken an extra-curricular course in debating that was funded by World ORT.

They debated whether “traditional school based education is obsolete in today’s society.”

“We don’t have the opportunity to express ourselves, and for me it is important that in our society, we get that opportunity,” said Shahd, 17, from Beit Hanina in east Jerusalem, whose team won the final.

“We know English very well, but we wanted to develop that further.”

Siham, 14, said the course had helped them think outside the box and gave them an opportunity to look at alternative opinions on different issues.

“It gives you a different perspective, something you might never have thought about,” she said.

Related Content

Netta Barzilai during a show in NYC
August 21, 2018
'Toy' is just the No. 2 Israeli song this year