Catholic Teachers’ College, Timor-Leste
In 2000, East Timor lacked a secondary education system as most of the country’s 140 secondary schools lay in ruins. Higher education in East Timor had effectively stopped, say UNICEF. But much has begun to change, and its education infrastructure and curriculum is beginning to take shape.
The Catholic Teachers’ College, Baucau was established in 2000 to train teachers to serve this 98% Catholic country. It operates as an outreach of the Melbourne province of the Marist Brothers, who have made a 10-year commitment to the College.CTC, with the people of East Timor, is working to develop quality professional teachers in the context of the Catholic faith and the culture of Timor-Leste. It is committed to advancing a quality East Timorese curriculum and a culture of leadership in the country.
The Director of CTC, Baucau has requested a skilled volunteer to work in Professional Development to strengthen skills and build capacity for teaching-staff undertaking their Master’s degree in Education from Australian Catholic University (ACU).
Palms Australia recruited Monica Morrison from Mollymook NSW, to work at Baucau, Timor-Leste for two years, she will be working hand-in-hand with local staff, sharing skills and expertise and contributing to long-term sustainable development.
Monica has worked for many years in the education sector and is also a registered psychologist who has many years of experience in counseling; she enjoys live music, theatre, the opera and reading, Monica also sings in a choir.
With her years of experience in the education system, she will be able offer her skills in language education to increase the capacity of current and future teachers to provide quality education and increased opportunities to Timor Leste’s youth for years to come.
Now is a vital time in Timor Leste’s history. If you can help Palms Australia send Monica, you can contribute to a more just and peaceful world.
August 14, 2013
Monica Morrison volunteered for 2 years at the Catholic Teachers’ College in Baucau, Timor-Leste. She returned for her former students’ graduation.
Having not been back to East Timor since leaving at the end of 2010, I wondered how much had changed and whether I would again be confronted by the poverty. Would I be accepted as a visitor this time? Back then I had been working with the staff towards gaining their Masters of Education degrees and now graduation was near and I had decided that I would like to be there to see them receive their awards.
My former colleagues, the Loreto sisters, drove me to Baucau. Baucau seemed different somehow and much quieter, perhaps due to the fact that the UN have now moved out. The downpour which met our arrival made everything look rather sad and a landslide had destroyed several of the roadside market stalls.
I was cheered next day by the return of the sun and of the many welcoming smiles of recognition I received and the general feeling of excitement in the air in preparation for the graduation the next day. Mops, brooms and banners were being carried down to the hall, speeches were being practiced and Marie Emmitt and Professor Jude Butcher from Australian Catholic University (ACU) arrived. Invitations for family “festas” were issued including one for me from Assis, and many joyful reunions occurred in the marketplace as former third year students, now all practising teachers, arrived from their villages for their graduation day.
The highlight for me was when my former students received their Masters of Education degrees. I could not stop the tears of pride and joy, and cannot imagine how their own parents felt. I recalled the earlier words to me of Cris, whose own mother died when he was a child: “My mother has come back for my graduation” he said with a hug. What better reward could a volunteer hope to receive than those precious words! I felt proud to represent all the Palms volunteers who have contributed to CTC, acknowledged by the Director Br Fons van Rooij in his welcome speech.
Perhaps more importantly on this occasion, I sat there reflecting that this day was evidence of tangible sustainability. For the first time, the students received their Bachelor of Teaching degrees from the fully accredited Institute itself with only the Masters Degrees for the staff being awarded by ACU. It has taken many years to reach this point—a Teachers’ College fully staffed by trained Timorese, and graduates fully employed in Timorese schools.
Monica will lead Palms Encounter East Timor in September 2013. Contact Palms immediately on firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 9518 9551 to reserve your space.
December 9, 2011
Volunteering can be both a challenging and immensely rewarding experience. Few returnees would claim to remain unchanged by the experience. Some, such as Des Hansen and Monica Morrison, value the experience so much that they return for another placement.
December 3, 2010
We are most appreciative of the fact that you have been so wonderful in supporting us with the placement of Monica. She has been a fantastic support within the overall professional development program, especially at a time when we had so many of the staff who were engaged in the completion of their Masters in Education.
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Area: 15,007 sq. km.
Median Age: 21.5
Literacy: 58.6 %
Languages: Tetum, Portuguese, Indonesian, about 16 indigenous languages
A brief history of independence. mid 1500s – Timor colonised by Portugal 1859 – Portugal cedes West Timor to the Dutch 1942-1945 – Japan occupies East Timor 28 November 1975 – East Timor declared independent from Portugal 7 December 1975 – invaded and occupied by Indonesia. It is estimated that 100,000 to 250,000 were killed […]