Latin America Review


For further information on ORT’s activities in Latin America, most notably Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela, please read the full article. Jump to articles on ARGENTINA | BRAZIL | BOLIVIA | CHILE | CUBA | MEXICO | URUGUAY | VENEZUELA ARGENTINA ORT Argentina has grown into one of the countrys largest providersof education and World ORTs third largest operation since itopened its first school in 1941. Its two junior high schools and two highschools in Buenos Aires grant certificates in a broad range of subjects,including Science, Computing, Electronics, Business Administration,Media Studies and Music Production. The two ORT Institutes ofTechnology grant official diplomas in subjects ranging fromBiotechnology, Food Technology and Film and Television Production toTourism and Fashion Design. ORT Argentina, Graduation day, 2005. ORT Argentinas schools and colleges are operating at full capacity withmore than 7,300 students, and thanks to the Werthein Family, they havebenefited from the inauguration of the Noel Werthein Auditorium atCampus No. 1. Equipped with leading audio and digital videotechnology, the Auditorium provides an ideal venue for concerts, DVDscreenings, videoconferences and exhibitions. Another facility inaugurated in 2005 is the ORT Entrepreneurship Centreat Campus No. 2. The goal is for the Centre which will host thecontinents first research and development laboratory for softwaresolutions for 64-bit technologies to become the countrys leadingtraining facility. The Centres creation reinforces the excellent pedagogicwork of ORTs schools and colleges by providing an environment in whichthe academic and entrepreneurial worlds can learn and create together. ORT Argentina has a tradition of innovation: its schools were the first tooffer studies in Mass Media, Biotechnology and ICT, the latter still beingthe only one of its kind to be taught in an Argentine high school.Following in this tradition is the setting up of CREA, the Resource Centrefor Education and Learning. Here, ORTs experts explore ways of updating and improving teaching resources through the use of the latestvirtual multimedia and interactive technologies. On Stage. ORT Argentina students. In its capacity as an official advisor to the Ministry of Education, ORTArgentina helps to improve the mainstream educational system forteaching science and technology. In turn, ORT is helped to develop itseducational approach by an Academic Advisory Board comprisingseven of Argentinas leading academics and intellectuals. In 2006, ORT Argentina is due to work with the faculty of EducationalSciences at the University of Buenos Aires to extend training opportunities forour teachers. The Universitys participation serves to acknowledge ORTArgentinas respected place in the countrys educational community. BRAZIL ORT Brazil has celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of itsfirst school, which was also the first ORT school in Latin America tooperate in a building of its own. A book entitled The History of ORT Brazil:Sixty Years of Educating for Life was published to mark the event.When it began in 1945, the ORT school offered practical courses in thefield of mechanics. Now, at a different site in Rio de Janeiro, ORT BrazilsTechnical High School offers its 250 students a high quality general andscientific education including specialisations in biotechnology,computer science, social communication and electronics as well asvocational training that enables them to pursue a university degree whileworking in their professional field. The Instituto de Tecnologia ORT is recognised as one of the best schoolsin the country and, despite the countrys economic problems, is growingeach year. Nearly 70 percent of the students benefit from ORT Brazils internationally funded scholarship programme that enables talentedstudents from deprived families to access the technical education that willoffer them a path out of poverty. Biology lesson. ORT Brazil. The campus for environmental learning in Petropolis, 70 kilometres fromRio de Janeiro, is in its fourth year. CEDEA, the Experimental Centre forEnvironmental Education, is a unique pioneering field project for teachingnatural sciences. Funded jointly by World ORT, ORT Brazil and theHenrique Lemle Summer Camp, the Centre is located within 850,000square metres of forests, rivers and lakes. Another innovative project is the development of educational andresearch work in genetics and stem-cell studies, which is undertaken inpartnership with one of the most important Brazilian cardiac institutions,the Pro-Cardiaco Hospital. The Centre for Jewish Technology and Culture has been created in theORT building to serve ORT students, students of other schools and thegeneral community, for the dissemination of Jewish culture, tradition andtechnological understanding. The centre is supported by ORT Brazil, theCommunity Fund and the Jewish Education Centre of Rio de Janeiro. BOLIVIA ORT returned to Bolivia in 2004 at the invitation of the Jewishcommunity, whose institutions have had to cope with an on-goingeconomic crisis. Political and social unrest have made the situation worsethis year, making World ORTs commitment to this small, isolatedcommunity even more valuable. ORTs support has reinvigorated theColegio Boliviano Israelita, which caters for children aged three toseventeen, with the introduction of a final year thesis and new courses,including the teaching of advanced English. The schools enrolmentenjoyed a 10 percent increase over the past 12 months and furthersignificant increases are expected next year. Students at Colegio Boliviano Israelita, Bolivia. ORT has obtained government approval to open a junior college in theCBI premises in 2006, which will offer the countrys first textile andindustrial design courses. One of the worlds leading professional services firms, the $20 billion-ayearPricewaterhouseCoopers, supported ORTs introduction of a 200-hour training course in the administration and improvement of smallbusiness. The course also enjoyed major financial support from theBolivian government and the Inter-American Development Bank. CHILE ORT Chile has attracted widespread acclaim and support for itsprojects that have helped thousands of people in the countrysJewish and wider communities. These projects include the training ofspecial needs students in computer literacy and leadership skills, thedesign and construction of school laboratories, training teachers in newmethodologies for teaching reading and writing, and providing technicalsupport for major educational initiatives at the two Jewish schools in thecapital, Santiago. A highlight of 2005 was the inauguration of a state-of-the-art scienceand technology laboratory at the 900-student Lorenzo BaezaGrammar school on Easter Island, 2,300 miles off Chiles coast.Equipped with eight computers and other high-tech equipment, thelaboratory is one of 50 programmes that ORT Chile hasimplemented across the country with the backing of the Coca-Cola Foundation with the aim of improving scientific education in Chilesstate schools. ORT Chile has also started to work for the Ministry of the Interior on asocial development project helping young people at risk of violence anddrug abuse. ORT Chile has made a major contribution to raising the educationalstandards of schools in impoverished neighbourhoods through a threeyearproject, which concluded in 2005. Funded by the Ministry ofEducation and the United Nations Development Programme, ORT Chileprovided management workshops for teachers and training for theteaching of Spanish and mathematics at 11 schools serving some10,000 students. ORT Chile continues to work with the countrys largesttelecommunications company, Telefonica Corporation, trainingdisabled people with appropriate technology. The latest projectexplored the use of iconographic software to allow speechless peopleto use the telephone. CUBA This year marked the fifth anniversary of ORTs resumption of operationsin Cuba. During the 20042005 academic year, ORT Cubaincreased its activities for the local Jewish community and new projectshave been planed to strengthen ORTs operations in the country.Additional courses were added to the academic programme developed atthe Ana and Ben Dizik ORT Technology Centre at the Jewish CommunityCentre in Havana, including leadership skills. The 20042005 academicyear saw a year-on-year an 82 percent increase in enrolment, with 557part-time students signed on to 59 courses, ranging from Hebrew andpsychology, to ICT, computer programming and web design. In November 2004, ORT Cuba was represented for the first time at the WorldORT Hatter Technology Seminar in London. In May 2005, nine ORT Cubastudents were among the Cuban group to visit Israel as part of the Taglit-Birthright Israel programme the third time ORT students have participated.The ORT Cuba summer course for children was one of the highlights ofthe academic year. For two months, nearly 90 children aged four to 18enjoyed a comprehensive educational programme including English andcomputing and a variety of workshops including music, singing, Israelifolk dance and drama. ORT Cuba Summer School. A practical class in computers.. MEXICO ORT Mexico is consulting with experts from ORT Argentina onthe choice of equipment to install at the new ORTTechnological Media Centre that is due to open in the first half of2006. Using state-of-the-art technology not available elsewhere inLatin America, the new ORT centre will provide training and otherservices to universities and corporations. The Technological Week, during which several groups of junior highschool students are exposed to different technologies, will in future beheld at this Centre. It will focus on media technologies includingtelevision, radio, graphic design, and digital audio and video productionand editing. Meanwhile, ORT Mexico continues to provide IT courses and workshopsfor Jewish and non-Jewish institutions in Mexico City.ORT Mexico has continued its collaboration with the Magen DavidORTTraining School for Adults, where members of the Jewish communityreceive training in IT and it has opened a new IT Training Centre in anunprecedented alliance with WIZO Mexico.ORT Cuba Summer School. Adult Education, ORT Mexico. In addition, ORT Mexico continues to introduce IT to teachers at Jewishand other schools and to teach them how to use computers aseducational tools in the classroom. URUGUAY Since its establishment in 1942, ORT Uruguay has grown tobecome the largest private university in the country. More than5,000 students undertake post-graduate, graduate and technical levelcourses, among them 80 percent of the graduates from Jewish highschools. As a result of the economic collapse four years ago, morethan 1,000 scholarships are provided each year to students infinancial need. ORT Uruguay has more than 500 academic staff infive officially recognised faculties; it awards degrees in architecture,engineering, management, economics, international relations, mediastudies, advertising, journalism, design, and education. An adultJewish education programme for Jewish teachers, communal leadersand executives of Jewish institutions is carried out annually. ORTUruguay also provides technical and pedagogical support to allUruguayan Jewish schools, including teacher training, IT programmedevelopment and certification. In 2005, ORT Uruguay signed agreements with prestigious institutionssuch as Lincoln University in New Zealand and the Illinois Institute ofTechnology. These provide ORT students the opportunity not only to studyoverseas but also to obtain dual degrees endorsed by the host country aswell as by the Uruguayan authorities. An agreement was also signed withGermanys Anhalt University of Applied Science to facilitate studentexchanges between the Dessau Institute of Architecture and ORTUruguays School of Architecture. The INTEGRA project, funded by the European Union to implementinformation technology innovations in schools, has been entrusted toORT Uruguays School of Education. Seven schools from across thecountry were selected to participate in the project, including the twomain Jewish day schools and the British School. This project willallow these schools to keep pace with the latest developments ineducational technology. A lesson in design, ORT Uruguay. Latin Americas leading business publication, America Economia, hasagain ranked ORT Uruguays MBA programme among the top 25 in thecontinent. The World Bank awarded ORT Uruguay a grant to train youngIT entrepreneurs in business skills. VENEZUELA ORT Venezuela operates three technical training schools; one in thenorth western town of Cabimas and two in the industrial town ofMoron and in Paraguan . The schools in Moron and Paraguan sspecialise in short courses including informatics, mechanics, metallurgy,administration and industrial maintenance. During 2005 ORT Venezuela trained a total of 1,455 students in fourcentres: 270 in Cabimas, 315 in Catia, 457 in Moron, and 413 inParaguan . The number of students enrolled by ORT Venezuela in 2005 was 29percent up on the previous year. This increase was despite difficultoperating conditions as the country continues to face a widening politicaland economic crisis.