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First Lady of East Timor addresses, encourages students at their graduation



Students graduate from country’s sole international primary teacher college

07/03/2017: East Timor

During a ceremony in which 53 students graduated from a Marist teaching institute on Feb. 25, the first lady of Timor encouraged them to transform the lives of the children they teach.

According to a news bulletin of the Marist Brothers of Australia, Isabel da Costa Ferreira – lawyer and politician – inspired the graduates to help the children they teach transform the country. 

The wife of president Taur Matan Ruak also encouraged the students to continue to learn, despite already having a degree.

The rector of the Baucau College – Instituto Católico para a Formação de Professores, the Bishop of Baucau, Basílio do Nascimento Martins, handed the students their certificates in the ceremony attended by the students, their families and friends.

Four of the Institute’s staff members also received their Masters of Education from the Australian Catholic University, at the hands of Emeritus Professor Tony d’Arbon. 

Two-thirds of the students are given scholarships or supported by representatives of a number of the foundations, such as the Emerge Foundation and Bega Valley Associates.

Instituto Católico para a Formação de Professores de Baucau - Timor LesteThe Marist Brothers founded the College, which is accredited through the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, at the request of the Bishop of Baucau in 2001. 

Since 2006, 570 students have graduated from the Institute, which is the only internationally organised provider of primary teacher education in East Timor.

The Institute, widely respected in East Timor, has graduates now working in the evaluation of the new national curriculum, while others are now working as teachers in local schools.

The Ministry of Education employed 23 of last year’s graduates to assist teachers and principals in new teaching methods.

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