Education – Key to Development

Four new students for secondary school.
                  New students 2019

In 2019, ATLAS is proud to continue to assist with education in Timor-Leste. We are supporting twelve students from Maubara orphanage attending Senior Secondary Schools or Technical High Schools in Dili. This is only possible through the generosity of donors who support this very worthwhile program. To each of you we express our sincere gratitude.

The students reside in special accommodation at the central house of the Carmelite Sisters in Fatuhada, a suburb of Dili. All courses of study are of three years duration. Whether the student is selected for academic studies or vocational studies depends on a number of factors e.g. ability, aptitude and choice. Each student is consulted regarding their preference and their hopes for their future life. The aim is to provide each one, according to their ability and preference, with the educational opportunities to build their lives in society, to provide for themselves and their families and to contribute to the development of their nation.

At the beginning of 2019, four girls completed their education in the Pre – Secondary School in Maubara (equivalent to years 7–9 in NSW system) and have now joined the student group in Dili. One is attending Senior Secondary School and three are following vocational courses.

Those students enrolled in academic studies follow one of two courses: Natural Science or Social Science. The former concentrates mainly on the study of various branches of Science e.g. physics, chemistry, geology, biology and mathematics while Social Science covers subjects such as languages (English, Portuguese and Tetun), history, geography and computer studies. While Vocational courses cover aspects of general education e.g. language and mathematics, they also cover a large variety of skills depending on the course chosen e.g. Sewing, hospitality, cooking, health and hygiene. They also include some study of business management, mathematics and computer skills.

The cost of educating a student at senior level is AU$2500 per year. This covers both school expenses (fees, uniforms, books, use of computers etc.) and living expenses. Because these students are all part of the Orphanage community, Atlas in consultation with the Carmelite Sisters, prefers to contribute the funds to the education of the total group rather than select individual students for the sponsorships.   We deeply appreciate your continuing financial support to ensure that of these senior students have an opportunity to continue their studies. A list of the 2019 students is attached.

Earlier this year, this message for donors was received from Sister Inacia, the Carmelite Sister responsible for this program.

On behalf of our senior girls who are students at Fatuhada, we would like to thank you for your support. Our prayer for each of you is that God will always bless you for your generosity. We hope that you will continue to contribute to the life and education of the children in our care. We ask God’s blessing on each of you.

Josephine Mitchell RSJ