(Courtesy of AMIT) Malka Trunach recently completed the last three of her 21 bagrut (matriculation) exams and is now studying information and communications technology at an AMIT junior college, both extraordinary achievements for the young woman who dropped out of school from 10th grade until the middle of 12th grade.
Starting in ninth grade, Malka, who is now 19 years old, attended an ulpana (religious girls’ school) in Beersheva, but was unhappy there. “I didn’t connect to it,” she said, “so I just stopped going one day.”
Malka’s mother, a single mother to seven children, was disappointed but had little power over her headstrong youngest daughter, who passed the time watching TV, reading and hanging out with friends. Then, mid-way into what would be her senior year, Malka’s sister suggested that she enroll at AMIT Elaine Silver Technological High School. Friends of hers had studied there and liked it, and went on to serve in the army, she said, urging Malka to give it a try.
“I like challenges,” Malka said, “and because I wasn’t in school, I wanted to see how I would handle the challenge of going back to school.” So she did.
She joined the art track at Elaine Silver, which is one of AMIT’s vocational high schools catering to children who have fallen through the cracks of other educational frameworks. There, with the encouragement of the principal and faculty, Malka began to see that she could succeed. Her teachers pushed Malka to continue studying, and she is now enrolled in grade 13 at the AMIT Junior College at Elaine Silver, where she is on track to go into the army as an officer after completing the two-year pre-army program.
Malka is one of two women in the first class at the junior college, which opened in September 2018. As the first co-ed training college of its kind, it plays a critical role in helping young women train to become computer technicians and engineers, enabling them to gain skills and know-how for the army and future employment.
Here, as well, Malka said she is getting the full support and encouragement of instructors and of Dr. Yaron Naim, the director of the junior college, who even supplied Malka with a new computer that she can use at home.
“Art is my comfort zone, and I can always go back to art,” she said. “This is a challenge I chose for myself. I had an opportunity to do something that interests me, and I decided to pursue it.”
Asked what her plans are for the future beyond serving in the army, Malka said with a laugh, “I don’t make plans; I just go with the flow.” What she does know, however, is that she wants to be self-sufficient.
“I want to be independent and I don’t want to have to rely on others, even my mother, for help,” she said. “I want to build my future and the junior college is helping me accomplish that goal.”
AMIT is leading an educational revolution in Israel with cutting-edge, Jewish values-based education. In 2018 the AMIT network was named the number-one educational network in Israel by the Ministry of Education. Learn more at www.amitchildren.org