The basic assumption of the Heznek Project is that education is a cardinal factor in social mobility. Thus, the goal of Heznek - for empowerment and excellence at the Merhavim high school - which has been operating for several years now, is to increase the percentage of students from the area who attain a quality high school matriculation certificate, which is the key to higher education. There is no doubt that the high percentage - 85% this year - of high school students who graduate with a comprehensive matriculation certificate attests to the impressive success of the project.
Heznek also strives to create a good environment for activity which supports study aimed at empowering the students and motivating them to attain educational achievements. The project also promoted many significant themes aside from the students' matriculation scores. These included improving communication between the teaching staff and the parents, who showed much greater involvement in the progress of their children over the course of the year, as well as strengthening values such as excellence and achievement on the way to the students' success.
This year's activities included intensive workshops for the parents, and a social and study-support activity for students and teachers whose purpose is to promote the sense that success is attainable. The most significant component was the supplemental education program implemented by the teaching staff in the afternoons, and utilizing small study groups, which was made available to the entire student body of the senior high school (Grades 10 to 12). These supplemental lessons for approximately 335 students were taught by a staff of 25 teachers in mathematics, language, English, and history.
This year a study assessing this project was carried out for Partnership 2000; the conclusions reached by that study will be presented to you in October and will be deliberated upon during the next joint steering committee meeting.