Fostering Tetun Literacy in Schools

GVFS was again delighted to have financially supported the excellent teacher training programs conducted by Mary MacKillop Today. Its Literacy Team continued its training in Viqueque with a five-day program for 45 primary teachers from remote schools. The objective of the training was to understand the new curriculum developed by the Ministry of Education with a focus on using Tetun Literacy and to help the teachers to become more animated and creative in the classroom. Teachers were provided with a substantial number of Tetun story books and dictionaries.

The following is an extract from the report to GVFS which included a thank you:

Although the teachers and trainers reported that the training went very well, teachers felt that the resources provided to support their lesson plans were very limited. They also requested more training in Phonetics, as this was new to them and difficult to implement. The trainers felt optimistic that the training went well, and the students will benefit from this. The teachers were very thankful for this training, including the information on Early Childhood Development & Child Protection because many schools still practice corporal punishment, and this can help to reduce physical and emotional abuse experienced by children.  Most teachers recommended that the refresher training is continued to strengthen topics including structuring lesson plans and phonetics. 

And from one of the teachers Ana Rosario from EBC Sabraka Laran.

I really appreciated and thankful for Mary Mackillop team especially Literacy Tetun trainers who have dedicated their time and knowledge to share with us especially new method that provided how to animate students and apply because my students are in the primary so I have to teach them more fun, learn and creativity as well as discipline in the class”.

Professionally trained Timorese helping their colleagues from remote areas in the basics of teaching is such a fine model, one that I believe is one of the most critical ways of improving educational outcomes in Timor Leste. So much more needs to be done!

Congratulations Mary MacKillop Today: There has been a frustration with the demise of Australian Overseas Aid over the past decade. A slight spark on the horizon is that Mary MacKillop Today is now accredited by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Mary MacKillop Today receives support through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Peter Cannon

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