World ORT and the Estonian Government have signed an agreement which paves the way for a greater role for ORT in the development of the Baltic state’s education system. The country’s only Jewish school formally affiliated with World ORT in 2008 but the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Tallinn this week stands to benefit the whole of Estonian society. According to World ORT Trustee Dr. Emil Kalo, “It’s a sign of World ORT’s commitment to Estonia. This strategic framework agreement shows the direction which we will take together in implementing new projects in education. It extends beyond the Jewish school and opens up a wide range of partnering possibilities and to seek European Union funding.”

The Memorandum of Understanding formalizes World ORT’s long standing willingness to share its expertise with the wider community as it hopes to do in neighbouring Latvia, where the ORT school’s top 10 ranking and vanguard position in high-tech facilities make it a potential center of advanced teacher training in ICT, science and technology for the whole country.

Once ranked among Estonia’s best 20 schools, the Jewish school has encountered financial problems since being re-established in 1990. World ORT is committed to modernizing what is the country’s only Jewish school and last year supplied it with a new computer class.

The school’s teachers benefit from World ORT’s Continuing Professional Development program and there are plans to set up an ORT Science and Technology Center there as well as to improve and update its curricula and textbooks.