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Thursday, 10 March 2016 20:22

Marist Brothers training new generations of Timor Leste teachers

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marist brothersThe Marist Brothers Province of Australia is helping to restore educational opportunities in Timor Leste, 13 years after the religious order opened a new teacher training college in the country.

Education in the fledgling nation all but disappeared after the referendum to gain independence in 1999. According to an international assessment team, about 95 per cent of the schools and other educational institutions were destroyed.

Around that time, Bishop Basilio do Nascimento asked the Marist Brothers for urgent help to train teachers.

According to The Catholic Leader, the brothers initially provided professional development for teachers and school leaders. In 2003, they opened the Instituto Catolico a Formacao de Professores, a teachers college that started with 53 students preparing to teach at primary schools.

When 46 teachers graduated in the class of 2016, the number of graduates of the training college reached 500.

The college’s director, Br Peter Corr, congratulated the graduates on a personal achievement that will be of national benefit.

“You have studied for three years to become good teachers who help your students of the future to become good students, who love learning,” Br Corr said.

“In this way, you also help develop this nation and bring more hope to its future.

“With your skills you can also help your families by supporting your children and give them a similar focus on their own education.”

This article was first published in the NCEC Newsletter (10 March 2016).

Read the related story "Graduation Milestone for Timor Leste Teachers College" published on 2 March 2016 in The Catholic Leader.