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Israel: One Computer for Every 15 Students

One would think that Israel is a leader in providing computers for schools since the country boasts an impressive high-tech industry but sadly, we continue to deteriorate in this realm.

The talk of computers in classrooms began in 1993 among Education Ministry officials, and since that time, there has been much talk among politicians and government officials, with many a grandiose plans revealed to bring additional computers to the nation’s schoolrooms.

According to data provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of computers in the nation’s schools decreased in the past two years from 114,000 to 92,000, close to 20%. In 2006, there was one computer for every 12 pupils but today, that number has fallen to one computer for every 15.5 students.

No less worrisome is the fact that 61% of schools do not comply with the Ministry of Education’s criteria, one computer for every 10 students.

MK (Meimad) Rabbi Michael Melchior, who chairs the Knesset Education Committee, adds the alarming statistics are absurd since a number of years ago, a computer was $1,000 and today, the price has dropped significantly. “Instead of marching ahead to tomorrow, we are falling behind to yesterday” he lamented.

One explanation given is that many computers that were in service a number of years ago are today outdated and no one has purchased new ones. In the past, computers were purchased by Mifal HaPayis lottery officials but the lottery authority’s budget to local government in 2004 and 2005 was frozen, resulting in a major backlog for many projects. During that period, no computers were purchased officials explain.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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