Chinese Delegation Visits the Young Ambassadors School
A delegation of Educational directors from China arrived in Israel on Sunday morning to gain insights into Israel's educational system in hopes of replicating the success of the “Startup Nation”. Five directors from China's Zhejiang Province, China's fourth wealthiest province, came to Petah Tikva as guests of Mrs. Rachel Amrani's “Chen” Young Ambassadors School and the Petah Tikva municipality.
The Chinese delegation had an intense schedule. They began their morning by meeting with Mr. Itzik Braverman, the mayor of Petah Tikva, and Mr. Rami Hofenberg, the Director of Education for the Petah Tikva municipality. The mayor discussed the challenges that Petah Tikva faces as the “fastest growing large city” and the ties between China and Israel, including Petah Tikva's twin city in China, while the Chinese representatives talked about their own issues in overseeing education for a province of 54 million citizens. They also mentioned that the fact that their home province dealt with water scarcity gave them a greater appreciation for Israeli innovations like drip irrigation systems.
Mr. Hofenberg provided the Chinese delegation with an overview of the Israeli educational system, and a more detailed description of Petah Tikva's educational system, which received a national award for pedagogical excellence this year. Mr. Hofenberg emphasized the principles behind the city-wide educational programming, starting with “no student left behind,” and the commitment to equal educational opportunities for all children in the municipality.
The group then visited Bar Lev Elementary School, where they heard from the principal who founded
the school, Ms. Dolly Motola, and fifth and six graders students from the Young Ambassadors leadership program.
The next and final stop in Petah Tikva was the highlight of the day—a visit to the Young Ambassadors Center. There the delegation heard about the different courses offered to students: Leadership, Journalism, Public Diplomacy, Entrepreneurship and Model United Nations, and the other components of the program, such as visits to government offices and embassies, guests from abroad and delegations to Hungary, Hong Kong and New York. They were also told about a product developed by the Entrepreneurial Club at the school, which is being produced in China. The delegation members then had the opportunity to address questions to the students, as well as to the principal, Mrs. Rachel Amrani. At the end of the program the Young Ambassadors School presented the delegation with a booklet on Israeli-Chinese cooperation.
Throughout the day, the delegation members expressed particular interest in the entrepreneurship programs offered to Israeli youth, and the ways in which extracurricular courses could be integrated with traditional educational programs. They discussed among themselves how they might be able to implement some of the ideas they heard about in Petah Tikva. The trip, while brief, offered a chance for both the Chinese and Israeli educators to learn from one another, as well as a chance to strengthen bilateral relations. Fittingly, the day concluded with hopes for continued partnership by educators and students and a reciprocal invitation for the Young Ambassadors School to visit China.