Software engineering, electronics and computers are among the core subjects offered at East Jerusalem’s first technology high school for gifted boys, opened on January 10 by the municipality in conjunction with the Jerusalem Education Administration’s Arab Education Division and the Ministry of Education to help meet technological challenges of the 21st century.

Outstanding math and science students admitted to the school in the Beit Hanina neighborhood have six days a week of classes in addition to workshops during school holidays. They will receive support and enrichment studies in math, science and Hebrew in order to reduce existing gaps in these areas and better prepare them for higher education and careers in technology.

The municipality has invested about ₪4 million in preparing and equipping the new school’s 14 classrooms and nine workshops. All faculty members have advanced academic degrees and experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects they are teaching.

“This is another stage in the revolution that includes reducing disparities and promoting the quality of education in the Arab sector of Jerusalem,” said Mayor Nir Barkat. “The school is the product of a process and an ongoing dialogue between the municipality and parents in the Arab sector who are very much interested in education for excellence.”

“The School of Technology is really a dream come true for the city’s Arab students,” said Lara Mobarici, director of the Arab Education Division. “Our aim is to encourage graduates to be integrated into academic studies and, as a result, into the high-tech industry in the future.”

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat greeting Arab teachers at the Center for Excellence You-niversity in Beit Hanina, February 2014. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat greeting Arab teachers at the Center for Excellence You-niversity in Beit Hanina, February 2014. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Two years ago, the Jerusalem municipality and World ORT Kadima Mada (Science Journey) inaugurated the Center for Excellence You-niversity in Beit Hanina to provide STEM education to Arab girls in middle-school grades. The facility has 24 classrooms, laboratories, computer rooms and sports fields to accommodate up to 1,000 students.