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Fifth graduation ceremony in Baucau

 

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Catholic Institute for Formation of Teachers

25/03/2011: East Timor

Five Masters, One Post-Graduate Certificate of Education and Forty Four Bachelors degrees awarded in East Timor at ICFP (Instituto Católico para Formacão de Professores). On Saturday February 26, 2011 the Marist administered ICFP held its fifth graduation ceremony in Baucau, East Timor. The degrees were conferred by Australian Catholic University’s outgoing Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Gabrielle McMullen. The academic procession entered the Diocesan Hall to the sound of a formal march, marking the beginning of a very dignified and formal occasion.

These young teachers, who come from districts across the whole nation, received the only internationally recognized education degree to be awarded in East Timor. Their achievement in being awarded this degree is remarkable given so many come from small villages and poor families who rely on subsistence farming. The graduation ceremony also included a marvellous moment for six young Timorese members of the ICFP teaching staff. Five were awarded the degree of Masters of Education (M.Ed.) and one a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education. Due recognition was given by these staff, and others who spoke, of the work and support provided by the ICFP Professional Development Team, headed by Sister Diaan Stewart IBVM. This team also includes Brothers John Horgan and Tony Clark, and over time, other Australian volunteers. Brother Fons van Rooij fms, Director of ICFP, from the Melbourne Province, reminded all present of the dictum of St Marcellin Champagnat that, “To teach a child you must first love them and love them all equally.”

At the Graduation Mass of Thanksgiving in the Baucau Cathedral, preceding the day’s academic formalities, the prayers of the faithful included a prayer, “for the Marist Family throughout the world, especially here in Timor Leste, that the spirit of Marcellin Champagnat will continue to strengthen their union with Christ, through the mission they share among us.” The hymn sung in Portuguese, “Familia Marista” also reminded us of the mission of this small, yet effective college of approximately 160 undergraduates and their links to donors, including many MSA Schools, over the past 10 years of Marist presence in Timor Leste.

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Marist Schools Australia -  Newsletter - 9 March 2011

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