August 24, 2007 Israeli teachers welcome new equipment from World ORT From budget cuts to rocket attacks, Israeli teachers have had a lot to worry about recently. Now, thanks to World ORT, teachers in dozens of high schools across Israel have something to smile about. As part of its $7.2 million Kadima Mada (Science Journey) programme, World ORT started this week to install equipment in specially prepared rooms to help teachers prepare lessons and course work. Receiving the equipment at Misgav High School, Devorah Yahel said: We feel wonderfully lucky because this will result in amazing working conditions for the teachers. And we appreciate so much that Jews around the world have been thinking of us. Last year we were counting Katyushas; this year were counting computers. Known as WOTECs (World ORT Teaching Empowerment Centres), the new facilities are specially designed high-tech staff rooms that feature all the equipment teachers need to prepare their lessons with the minimum of stress and the maximum of efficiency. In addition to working stations for the staff, each WOTEC provides scanners, photocopiers, printers, digital cameras, internet and intranet connection, photo and video processing software, design and development software, binding equipment and PowerPoint equipment. Misgav High Schools Devorah Yahel with some of the equipment provided by World ORT. The Principal of Kiryat Ata, Baruch Od, joined with staff in welcoming the creation of the new facility. We took seriously World ORTs request that we prepare a room with the appropriate infrastructure and have made it a splendid addition to our school, Mr Od said. I feel that weve raised the level of the school by several degrees which is quite an achievement at a time when weve experienced budget difficulties. He added: The WOTEC will strengthen the quality of our teaching and will help teachers to relate to those students who benefit from the use of technology. Although the Centre is aimed at teachers, students will also benefit. WOTECs, which are based a model that has been tried and tested in some ORT schools in the Former Soviet Union, are due to be installed next week at three more of the 30 campuses participating in Kadima Mada with the rest installed as and when the schools are ready. Dr Yakov Ronkin, World ORTs Research and Development Coordinator, said: By empowering the teachers and giving them the necessary tools and resources with which to easily and thoroughly prepare lessons we will be enhancing every pupils chance to improve his or her grades. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has benefited more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish in 100 countries since its foundation in 1880. At the installation of the first WOTEC, at Kiryat Ata, Shmuel Cohen, World ORTs Technology Education field team member in Israel, said: This is a partnership in which World ORT provides the equipment and the schools provide the conditions to improve the educational process and create a superior learning environment.