New graduates a teaching milestone for Timor Leste
Timor Leste’s teaching profession has received a significant boost with the graduation of 46 new teachers from a college run by the Marist Brothers Province of Australia.
The Catholic Leader reports the new teachers’ graduation is a significant milestone as now more than 500 teachers have graduated from the Instituto Catolico para a Formacaso de Professores (ICFP) since its inception soon after Timor Leste (East Timor) gained independence from Indonesia in 1999.
The graduation of so many teachers from the college has had lasting benefits for the children of Timor Leste and is particularly significant given the turmoil which characterised the country during Indonesia’s 25-year rule.
By the turn of the millennia, Timor Leste had achieved independence through a popular vote referendum but its education sector was non-existent with approximately 95% of schools and education infrastructure destroyed during the upheaval.
The Marist Brothers became involved in rebuilding Timor Leste’s education sector soon after the referendum vote, following a plea for help from the Bishop of Baucau, Basilio de Nascimento.
In 2003, the ICFP officially opened its doors to 53 budding primary school teachers, which marked the start of a significant investment in the future of education in Timor Leste by the Marist Brothers.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke commended the work of the Marist Brothers in Timor Leste and said improving the quality of education at every level was a key goal of aide assistance.
“Our union, through our work with Education International and APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad, makes a significant and ongoing contribution to improving the literacy levels among women who missed an education in the wake of the independence turmoil.”
“Education is the one of the most valuable resources a people can have,” Mr Burke said.
Click here to read more about Timor Leste’s new teachers.