We have recently received the following news from Margie Beck at the Baucau Teachers College where Geelong Viqueque Friendship Schools is sponsoring 8 students.
It is great to be able to tell you that this year every one of our students passed all their end of semester exams – no failures at all in any unit! I think this is the first time this has happened, as there are usually one or two who need to do make up work in order to pass. Their lecturers are delighted, as it means that the teaching and learning that has been done during the past semester has been excellent!
Students finished their studies at the beginning of November, and the 3rd Year students held a wonderful farewell on the day after the last exam. They had prepared a great day – starting with Mass, though some of the students stayed up all night to prepare the meal for us. There were speeches, entertainment and of course, lots of tears as they said goodbye. They will be back for their graduation on 21st February, 2015, so it will be good to see them one more time as they start their professional careers.
The Portuguese mission is currently contacting 48 of the 52 finalists in order to start the process for employing them in their schools next year. The other 4 students will be either studying overseas or have found positions already. We are so proud of them all! The number of graduates from ICFP is more than 400, so they are really starting to impact in the educational field in Timor-Leste!
One big change is that Brother Fons van Rooij, fms, will be finishing up as Director of the Institute after 8 years. He has been a strong leader who has given much to each and every staff member as well as being responsible for the new building that will come into full use next year. There will be a farewell for him this coming Friday, with the Bishop of Baucau and the Minister of Education being the key guests.
Br Peter Corr fms, will start his leadership on 5th January, 2015. The Timorese staff are feeling both sad and happy – sad that Br Fons is leaving, but happy that the Australian Marist Province is willing to continue to support the Institute with a new Director.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you for the generosity that you give to us here. I know that the students really appreciate that they are able to study at ICFP without constant worry about finances. The finalists have indicated that they pray for you each Sunday during Mass – and I am sure that they do and will continue to do so! May you be blessed in everything that you do.