15,000 computers being distributed to northern schools

City Notes: In coming days, weeks, 300 more computers will be distributed. The ministry said it is investing NIS 134 million in the program.

Boy using computer 521 (photo credit: courtesy)
Boy using computer 521
(photo credit: courtesy)
The Education Ministry has been distributing computers to teachers and classrooms in the North of the country in recent months, so far distributing some 15,000, the ministry said this week.
According to the ministry’s Northern Division director Dr. Orna Simhon, “Israel’s education policy, led by Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, is preparing our pupils, in an exceptional way, for life in the 21st century.” The program, she added, is thereby making Israel world leader in the fields of education, science and technology.
On Sunday, laptops were distributed to 315 elementary school teachers in Nahariya and other northern cities. In the coming days and weeks, an additional 300 computers will be distributed. The ministry said it is investing NIS 134 million in the program.
“Schools that are a part of the national program... underwent radical changes in teaching and learning processes and paved the new way to providing solutions to students who grew up with computers,” Simhon added. The new technologies bring about changes in the perception of “the relationship between teachers and students as well as the construction of thought processes, of learning and innovation,” the Local website reported.
Police raid counterfeit liquor operation
An undercover police operation shut down a counterfeiting operation this week that had been producing and selling fake brand-name alcoholic drinks over a long period of time in the north. Nine people were arrested and the full chain of production, distribution and sales was shut down by the Lahav 443 unit of the Israel Police.
According to police, a 42-year-old Nahariya resident and a 32-year-old from Haifa were distilling the fake vodka and whiskey, which they sold to counterfeiting operations throughout the country.
Original name-brand bottles would then be filled with the fake beverages, sealed and sold to stores and nightclubs at full price.
Inspectors discovered that the manufacturing process, in addition to being unlicensed and illegal, was conducted in ways that made the drinks unfit for human consumption. Mosquitoes and ants were found in the bottles and beverages, the Local website reported.
Netanya to improve education for Ethiopian pupils
The Netanya Municipality, in cooperation with the Education Ministry, this week launched a program to strengthen the city’s southern neighborhoods and especially its education system, which mostly serves the Ethiopian community.
The program was formulated by a steering committee headed by Netanya Mayor Miriam Fierberg-Ikar and ministry director-general Dalit Stauber.
The program aims to increase academic achievement of those residents who are seeking religious education in the south of the city. It will offer informal and formal after-school activities and will especially focus on the integration of children of Ethiopian background into the city’s schools. In addition, it will see the renovation of the southern neighborhoods’ schools.
One major aspect of the program, the integration of Ethiopian children into the city’s school system, will be carried out by redirecting Ethiopian pupils to other schools in the city, where they will account for no more than 20 percent of pupils in each school. Additionally, it will see the introduction of technological aids and the procurement of personal computers for Netanya classrooms to create a more technologically rich learning environment.
Jaffa residents to get free interior design consulting
Tel Aviv-Jaffa residents not satisfied with the interior design of their homes will have a unique opportunity next week. The Academic College of Management’s Interior Design Department will be holding an event called “Speed Design” at the Amiad Center in Jaffa between 4 and 8 p.m. on March 6, in which 60 leading architects and interior designers will provide free consulting services in short, 20-minute sessions to any interested residents of the city.
In the short sessions, the architects and interior designers will listen to residents’ design problems and help find solutions. Interested residents should bring drawings of their homes, photographs of problematic areas requiring change and improvement, basic measurements of spaces and the types of solutions that suit their needs and taste. Prior to the sessions, students from the college will be available to provide preliminary advice on residents’ drawings and ideas.
Head of the college’s Interior Design program Carmela Yaakovi-Volk said the program is designed to “help weaker segments of society, particularly in Jaffa, which have less access to interior design [services].” The program, she added, hopes “to convey the message that the interior design field is accessible to everyone and does not necessitate a large financial investment.”
TA brings arnona bills to your smart phone Beginning this month, Tel Aviv-Jaffa residents will find a new, square bar code on their property tax (arnona) bills, which will allow easy access to online payment options and will allow residents to check their balance and make payments on smart phones. The service, which will be operated through the city’s existing payment website, MyBills, appears on arnona bills.
Next month, the city is to launch a campaign to return payment credits to residents and businesses who have overpaid arnona bills. The municipality will begin sending letters to the homes of those eligible, detailing the procedures they need to follow to obtain the refund.
Residents owed money by the city can receive the refund by bank transfer or check and will be able to check the balance by telephone or on a website the city is launching. The program will run for six months, beginning April 2.
Negev student village is officially inaugurated Deputy Prime Minister and Negev and Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom, along with Ramat Hanegev Regional Council head Shmulik Reifman, presided over a ceremony inaugurating the Sheizaf Student Village in the Negev last week. The ministry is in the process of turning the student village into a permanent settlement.
The Sheizaf Student Village was first established last summer during the social protests by a number of students from the center of the country who formed a group and settled there.
The students, who are both religious and secular, have been living in mobile homes and temporary structures that were purchased on their behalf.
The Ayalim Movement, which has been operating the village, has been receiving support from the ministry since the establishment of the village. The ministry said the state has invested NIS 50 million in student villages run by Ayalim, NIS 21 million of which has come from the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry.
Authorities crack down on illegal fishing in Ashkelon As part of ongoing operations to stem illegal fishing, inspectors from the Agriculture Ministry and Israel Police carried out an enforcement operation in the Ashkelon coastal area last week.
During the operation, a boat was discovered to be fishing without a license, and the fishermen on board were found not to have personal fishing licenses. The suspects were detained for questioning by Ashkelon Police and investigated by the Fisheries Division of the Agriculture Ministry. The boat, fishing nets and other equipment were confiscated during the operation.
Fisheries Division director Hagai Neurenberg said “the phenomenon of unlicensed fishermen and fishing boats is one of the fundamental problems causing damage to fishing resources and is in gross violation of the Fishing Ordinance.” Therefore, he added, “I see the prevention... of this phenomenon as a central and important target for the Fisheries Division.”
Soroka Medical Center evacuated following fire The emergency room of Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba was evacuated Monday morning after a fire broke out in the basement of the hospital. No one was injured in the incident.
The hospital’s emergency room was filled with smoke as a result of the fire, which investigators said was caused by a faulty lighting fixture. Firefighters called to the scene successfully extinguished the blaze.
Man shot in suspected Negev village brawl A man was shot and seriously injured in the village of Hura in the Negev on Monday. Magen David Adom paramedics treated the man at the scene, and had not ruled out the possibility that additional people were injured in what they believe may have been a brawl. Police were investigating the incident.