Jesuit Education Initiatives Underway in East Timor

Secondary School, Teacher Training Center Will Develop Economy, Nation’s Identity

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The Education Project of the Jesuits in East Timor will provide valuable resources to the Local Church and civil community through two complementary institutions: the College of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a secondary school, and the St. John de Brito Institute, a training center for teachers, reported Fides.

This project, whose construction began in 2012 and is to conclude in 2025, is located in the rural area of Kasait, 18 km from East Timor’s capital and largest city of Dili. The educational initiative has received significant support from the Jesuit provinces of the Philippines, Australia, and Japan.

While a vocational training center will be developed by 2015, the de Brito Institute, the training center for teachers, will open in 2016. This center aims to prepare teachers for higher education levels, even for professional subjects and techniques.

By January 2018, the secondary school will have about 550 students.

East Timor, or Timor-Leste, is an extremely poor, but predominantly Christian, country in Maritime Southeast Asia. It was occupied by Indonesia until 1999 when, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory. East Timor became a sovereign state on May 20, 2002. After independence, East Timor became a member of the United Nations.

According to Jesuit religious, after the nation’s independence in 2002, its government had to rebuild the education system in order to develop its nation’s identity and economy. 

Ninety-nine percent of East Timor’s 1.2 million people are Christians. 

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