Jewish school in Peru strengthens ties with ORT


10 June 2009 Jewish school in Peru strengthens ties with ORT Science teachers and coordinators at the Le n Pinelo Jewish Day School in Lima, Peru have given up their vacation time to undergo a week-long intensive training seminar to help them implement ORT Chiles Advanced Technology for Science Education (TAVEC) programme there. This is the second tranche of training for the teachers at the only school serving Limas 3,000-strong Jewish community since ORT Chiles Science Coordinator, Professor Rolando Diaz Delgado, set up the TAVEC framework there a year ago in an initiative made possible by funds raised through World ORTs Latin America campaign. This latest seminar represents a significant upgrade in the educational capacity of the schools science department, said Principal Daniel Trilnick. It is indicative of the excitement generated by this project that teachers surrendered their holiday to attend the training programme. The hands-on training including a field trip to try out data loggers and other equipment at different altitudes and in varying soil conditions reaffirmed the teachers confidence in TAVEC and expanded their practical skills in using the state-of-the-art computerised science laboratory which has been installed at the school. ORT Chile has installed dozens of such facilities at public schools throughout Chile with the support of the Coca Cola Foundation. The laboratory allows teachers to lead their students through demonstrative experiments in physics, chemistry and biology and is similar to one installed at the Isaac Rabin School in Panama City in 2007, also made possible by the Latin America Campaign, World ORTs four-year, $9 million campaign to support the continents struggling smaller Jewish communities and boost the success of ORTs major operations. The Leon Pinelo Schools Science Coordinator, Sara Villacorta, said: I am more than pleased with the seminar and the possibility to introduce new technologies. This is going to have a strong impact on our students and the way they learn sciences. The groundbreaking nature of the schools new facility was highlighted by the presence of Idel Vexler, Perus Deputy Minister of Education. Mr Vexler is not only a science teacher himself he used to be deputy principal at the school so he was deeply interested in the technology and the impact it may have on curricula development, said ORT Peru Chair Jorge Gruenberg. Almost all Jewish children in Lima attend the Leon Pinelo School so the potential impact of this project on the community is enormous, Mr Gruenberg continued, adding that there was also the potential to expand ORTs influence into the mainstream education sector a possibility confirmed by Mr Trilnicks stated readiness to share the knowledge his staff acquired on the use of innovative technology in science education with other institutions. The importance of this project goes far beyond the direct impact it will have on laboratory activities, Mr Trilnick said. It represents a potential for closer relations between ORT, Leon Pinelo and the Peruvian Jewish community on the one hand and the countrys education authorities, which have been modernising the public school system, on the other. World ORT Representative in Latin America Isidoro Gorodischer said everyone was very happy with the project, which he hoped could be replicated in Jewish schools in Costa Rica, Colombia and Paraguay. Leon Pinelo is one of the best schools in Lima. In trying to preserve its position they are increasing their efforts to introduce new and innovative programmes, especially from ORT, Mr Gorodischer said. They are delighted with the collaboration with ORT and want to do more, for example with ORT Argentina in the field of Jewish Studies.