2023-03-19 EAST TIMOR

17th Teacher Graduation ceremony in Baucau

The Instituto Católico Para a Formaҫão de Professores (ICFP), in Baucau, Timor-Leste, held on 11th March its 17th Graduation ceremony, in the presence of Rev. Padre Alipio Pinto Gusmão, Administrator of the Diocese of Baucau and Governor of the Institute; Br. Greg McDonald, representing the Marist Provincial (Br. Peter Carroll); Br. Peter Corr, President of the Marist Foundation and ICFP; Luis Alacio Guterres, Director National Curriculum, representing the Minister of Higher Education (Longuinhos dos Santos); Maria Imaculada Conceiҫão, President ICFP Alumni; and Nilton Pavia, Executive Director of the National Accreditation Agency.

Sixty-six students were awarded the Bachelor of Teaching (3 years) and fifty-nine students received the Bachelor of Education (Licentiate – 4 years).

The day began with a Mass in the Baucau Cathedral, led by Father Alipio, while the liturgy singing was directed by Br. Benjamin Corbafo, second-year student.

The Graduation ceremony was held at the Baucau Convention Centre (Merkadu). Br. Paul Gilchrist, ICFP Director, welcomed all the guests, the graduates, and their families. And Father Alipio, presented the students with their degrees. Two staff members, Manuel Belo da Silva and Salvador Magno Ximenes, who have recently graduated with master’s degrees in educational leadership from the Australian Catholic University, were also acknowledged.

There were three formal speeches: Luis Alacio Guterres read a message from the Minister of Education and then spoke of his admiration for the work done throughout Timor-Leste by the graduates of ICFP. Maria Imaculada Conceiҫão, who was a member of the 2006 graduation class, stressed the importance of personal qualities and skills that these graduates will bring to school communities. And the final speaker, Alarico Matus, one of the graduates, spoke on behalf of the students and thanked the ICFP staff. The major award winners for the degrees were then introduced and 10 first-year students received scholarships provided by the eMerge Foundation from Sydney.

Graduating members of the Marist Youth Ministry (MYM), the ICFP Social Justice group, were then presented with certificates of appreciation from Br. Paul, and members of the outgoing student senate were given similar certificates by Mariano dos Santos.

The ceremony closed with a prayer and a final song, delightfully sung by Elisa Florentina Freitas, a Licentiate graduate, and member of the ICFP staff.

The crowd of over six hundred people then sat down to a lunch together.

“The preparation of Graduation ceremonies takes months of planning and lots of hard work from various groups within the Institute. It was a real pleasure for them that everything went so well. Congratulations to everyone involved”, said Br. Paul Gilchrist, Director ICFP.


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