Instituto Catholico Para Formacao De Professores (ICFP)
Timor-Leste is one of the least developed countries in the world and the poorest in Asia. During the 1999 post referendum violence, as much as 70% of the national infrastructure was destroyed, including the destruction of 80% of schools and the burning of almost all books and materials, while almost 20% of primary teachers and 90% of secondary teachers returned to Indonesia. With 42% of the country’s population below the age of fourteen and the majority of Timorese teachers poorly educated and untrained, the current school system faces enormous challenges.
ICFP is a Marist-run Catholic Teachers College that offers an accredited Bachelor of Teaching and is the only tertiary institution outside of the area of the capital Dili. It is also one of only two providers of primary education teacher training in the country. The educational infrastructure in Timor-Leste is still weak, but ICFP’s goal is to strengthen the Catholic School system and provide the country with fully qualified teachers.
The college empowers its students to become leaders in the field of primary education and leaders within their own local community as well. Trained in critical thinking, pedagogy and child development, the students are readily offered employment upon graduation.
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Photo: Conor Ashleigh