24 June 2009 Present perfect, future uncertain for ace ORT student An ORT student has his home town of Kazan abuzz with news that he scored a perfect 100 in his computer science high school graduation examination. ORT Mishpahteinu student Ruslan Aiginins (pictured right) stunning achievement as Tatarstans only perfect scorer in the exam prompted the republics Deputy Minister of Science and Education, Ludmila Nugumanova, to congratulate the schools teachers on television for their commitment and skill in nurturing such a fine student. Ruslan,18, is one of only 61 of the 67,504 students who passed the Russia-wide computer science exam to do so without a single mistake. In the predominantly Muslim autonomous Republic of Tatarstan, 1,252 people passed the exam with an average mark of 57 per cent. But Ruslans result is just the tip of the iceberg of ORTs achievement in teaching technology to teenagers. Most ORT Russia students scored more than 80 per cent in the computer science exam, placing them in the top seven per cent of graduates; among them was Vladislav Kaganov (pictured left), a student at Moscow ORT Technology School, who was one of only 197 students across the country to score 99 per cent. Of course we are all very proud of Ruslan, said ORT Mishpahteinu Principal, Olga Troupp. But we are particularly proud because he lives alone with his mother, who is a pensioner. They have just enough money to live on. They can not afford private tutors so Ruslan is truly a product of our school. On the other hand Vladislav, who was one of only 25 students in the whole of Moscow to score 99 per cent (only nine in the capital matched Ruslans 100), enjoyed the advantage of having parents who were skilled computer programmers. His teacher, Elena Darovskaya, said: Although younger than most of his classmates, Vlad was first taught programming by his father when aged only 10 and he could soon write very complex programmes by himself. Throughout his school years he showed a particular interest in maths, technology and computer science. We look forward to seeing him achieve many things at Moscow State University, where he will be studying in the Faculty of Computer Science and Cybernetics. Good exam results are not unusual at ORT Mishpahteinu but, until now, the highest marks in the high school finals had been 95 per cent in English and an 87 in physics. This is the first time one of our students has scored 100, Ms Troupp said. Not many students in Kazan have scored 100 in any subject. At every level of society, everyone is talking about this; it has generated a lot of excitement, the whole of Tatarstan in very proud. Ours is one of the most prestigious schools in Kazan with government ministers sending their children and grandchildren to us. This will attract even more parents to our school but already we are unable to accommodate everyone: this year we had to turn away 100 applicants to our entry class because we have space for only 60. Ruslan plans to go to Kazan State University the alma mater of Nikolai Lobachevsky, developer of non-Euclidean geometry with the aim of gaining the skills necessary to become a programmer and ICT specialist. Ms Troupp believes that Ruslan will become a fine scientist should he be given the opportunities he deserves. But there is a problem. Ruslans father died when he was a child and he and his mother have barely enough to make ends meet, said Ms Troupp. I am concerned that the added costs of pursuing a university education will be difficult for them. The stipend that he will receive as a university student will be very small so I have spoken to the Board of the Kazan Jewish Community to see if they can help. I hope that there may also be supporters of ORT who would want to help. Ms Troupp added that Ruslan was a very talented student who read widely and performed well in almost every subject he learned. However, Ruslan, who attended ORT Mishpahteinu for eight years, should not be seen as a geek who sits at a computer terminal day and night. His class supervisor, Galina Chkadua, said Ruslan contributed to a wide variety of school activities including musical ones (he plays both piano and accordion). He is respected by his schoolmates and his teachers because of his erudition and communication skills, which are good even by adult standards, and for his fairness and decency, Ms Chkadua said. As for Ruslan himself, he modestly deflected questions about his exam results to pay tribute to his school. I am very grateful for the knowledge it has given me, knowledge that is necessary for success, he said. Our school is unique we have a very good atmosphere, warm and friendly, which is why it is named Mishpahteinu (our family). And this atmosphere helps us to learn better. He had some parting advice for the students he is leaving behind. You have wonderful teachers and a wonderful school; there is no school like it in Kazan, he said. Please do not waste time on useless things. You can learn so many useful, interesting and important things there everything you need to help you make a success of your life. And the most important thing is that this school gives you everything you need to be a really good person. Ms Troupp agreed with Ruslans assessment of the schools teachers. They are real professionals who are truly committed to the children, she said. They do not just come, give their lessons and go away; they stay late to provide extra material to students to encourage their interest in a particular subject and even come in on Sundays. They are always looking out to identify students who show an interest in a lesson and find ways to feed that interest and to take the children beyond the confines of the curriculum. And, she noted with admiration, the teachers sometimes work for free. When the Jewish Agency stopped funding Heftsibah we were left with severe financial difficulties, she said. World ORT has continued to fund us for which we are very grateful but sometimes we could not pay the teachers and they continued working for free. Parents have been helping by giving money which we use to add a little bit to the teachers salaries.