23 March 2007 Israelis thank World ORT for its support The speedy and successful implementation of the first phase of World ORTs Kadima Mada (Science Journey) programme has drawn praise from beneficiaries. Only two months after the NIS 32 million ($7.4 million) programme was launched, 19 schools across Israel have had state-of-the-art, bespoke laboratories installed; a further six are to be installed next month. The programme is part of World ORTs work, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, to raise the standard of science and technology education in the country. Nitzan Medina is a student at Shaar HaNegev High School. Located near the border with Gaza the school, which has been identified by the Ministry of Education as in urgent need of assistance, is fortified to protect the 1,170 teenagers learning there from Kassam rocket attacks. This new equipment makes it easier to study, Nitzan said. We see things we couldnt see before. We can coordinate all aspects of the experiment. Its also easier for our teacher to explain the experiment on the screen for all to see. I would like to thank World ORT for thinking of us. The new facilities, which are geared towards electronics, ICT or science depending on schools individual circumstances, are part of a generation of intelligent laboratories. These use data logging equipment to collect data through sensors and record and process the information in tabular or graphical form while the investigation or demonstration is in progress. Students at Shaar HaNegev High School Before World ORTs intervention, Shaar HaNegev had only basic and, in many cases, obsolete equipment in its laboratories. Situated in an economically depressed part of Israel, where education funding has to compete with high spending on security and infrastructure, many of the students come from poor socio-economic backgrounds. It is in less affluent areas like this region that science and technology education is most sought after, said the World ORT Representative in Israel, Dr Gaby Meyassed. Less wealthy families in particular aspire to technical and vocational education as the route to a secure future and assured employment. In the north of Israel, which was battered by Hezbollah rockets last year, Ora Bar has also expressed her gratitude to ORTs supporters worldwide for their help. The Biology and Chemistry Coordinator at Nesher High School, near Haifa, said: This equipment will enrich the way we teach the students. The equipment will contribute greatly to the success of our students their dreams can come true. Ms Bars peers in the schools targeted by Kadima Mada 2007 also benefit from on-going teacher training so that they can make the best use of their new laboratories. Alon Shuster, the Mayor of Shaar HaNegev, also praised the speed of World ORTs implementation of its programme. Its refreshing to see action rather than words, he said. 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.