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ORT Armenia Joins World ORT Network

At the signing ceremony, from left:

 David Benish, ORT’s representative in the CIS, Baltic States, Central Asia and Caucasian States; Dr. Svetlana Harutyunyan, the first president of ORT Armenia; Robert Singer, Director-General and CEO of World ORT; Dr. Lucien Kalfon, World ORT Board of Trustee member; Armen  Ashotyan, the Armenian Minister of Education and Rima Varzhapetyan, the head of Arenia’s Jewish community.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – October 28, 2010 – ORT America’s National Executive Director Alan E. Klugman announces that World ORT has signed an historic agreement with the Armenian Government which launches the organization’s educational and vocational training activities in the country for the first time.
“We are delighted to welcome ORT Armenia to ORT’s global network of schools and training programs, currently in 63 countries,” said Mr. Klugman.  “It is particularly exciting to become partners with the Armenian Government to develop a modern secondary education system that will generate the technological and professional skills needed for the country’s economic progress.

In this often overlooked part of the world with less than 1,000 Jews, ORT’s proven expertise in teaching technology unleashes unlimited opportunities for improving the Armenian people’s welfare, economic and social development,” he added.

The memorandum of understanding promotes cooperation in the implementation of high technology and the Internet in the education sector, the development of information technology, and the creation of programs promoting the establishment of high-tech centers in Armenian universities.  The agreement also paves the way for ORT’s International Cooperation Department (ORT IC) to institute a model school in the capital, which will act as a nucleus for the modernization of education throughout the Caucasus. 

With the formal registration of ORT Armenia, the Torah Ohr Sunday School, which serves the capital Yerevan’s small Jewish community, will join the international ORT network.  Presently, the school uses computers which ORT hasn’t installed in more than 10 years and the equipment in the physics lab hasn’t been utilized for about 50 years. Thanks to the combination of ORT’s expertise and international connections, the school’s 500 to 700 pupils will now be able to enjoy a truly modern education.  ORT plans to connect the school to a computer network, create computer and video labs as well as computerized physics and chemistry labs; and classrooms will be fitted with Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs).

ORT will also send international experts to train the Armenians in the effective use of the new equipment, including Israeli teachers who have mastered the technology introduced at their schools by ORT America’s programmatic arm in Israel, Kadima Mada. The Yerevan school’s teachers will then go on to train thousands of fellow educators from Armenia, Georgia and other countries. World ORT is preparing to send an evaluation team to Armenia next month as the first step in having everything up and running by the next academic year.

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