The lack of interest of local authorities in technology in the local schools has meant that the school children of Beit Shemesh lag behind the rest of Israel in developing computer skills. Keren Shemesh has stepped up to try and close this gap; Seven years ago we at Keren Shemesh launched a new technology skills program in our high schools. We realized that only 13% of the graduates out of the 70% graduating with a diploma, continue on to higher education in University, and the remaining graduates are left without the sufficient skills to find decent jobs to support themselves. Over the past 7 years, one of the schools we support has been promoting technological fields, such as Electronics, Electricity and Software Engineering. These are highly sought after fields of study both in the army and in private industry. In those high schools promoting technological skills, many of the students have the option to continue studying for an additional two years in a pre-army framework specifically in these fields of study, allowing them to use their acquired skills in the army. For the first time in the history of Bet Shemesh, we have been able to provide our students with the opportunity to graduate High school with both a diploma and an additional certificate enabling them to continue on in the various fields of technology.
Keren Shemesh has purchased and installed new and updated computers in 5 elementary schools and in 3 high school. We have also purchased and installed SMART classroom new technology in 4 elementary schools and 2 high schools.
Additionally, we have installed a computerized electronics lab, and a new electricity lab in 3 local high schools enabling local teens to learn technology skills, and we have built computer rooms in 3 local community centers, and an up to date video conference room in a local community center.
In order to keep pace with new technological advancements, we are occasionally required to update the equipment. For example, in the Dvir High School there are three computer labs used in the fields of:
- Electrical Engineering;
- Software Engineering;
Out of the three existing labs, two contain woefully outdated equipment that require replacing. In order to keep up with new technological challenges, the school plans on acquiring two new computer labs as well as updated two of the existing labs.
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