Bishop Jose Lai (standing) and Bernard Li, outgoing president of Fu Jen Catholic University (front left) with students
The Church in Macau is offering professional training for local high school teachers with a little help from Taiwan’s Fu Jen Catholic University. Established 80 years ago, the St Joseph Diocesan College of Macau has been offering training courses for kindergarten and primary school teachers for more than half a century but is now, for the first time, offering a diploma course for high school teachers. Since our college is not ready to provide this course alone, “we sought help from Fu Jen as its Catholic educational spirit fits our needs,” said Bishop Jose Lai Hung-seng of Macau. It is very important for teachers to be well-trained as they are “teaching the future pillars of Macau,” he stressed. In Macau, the Catholic Church runs about 40 percent of the local schools, where more than 500 high school teachers have never received any training diploma in education. Most were hired after graduating from university and must do certain programs to meet government requirements, said Koc Wa-pong, vice-principal of the college. The majority of kindergarten and primary school teachers have education diplomas conferred by St. Joseph’s College. “If we can also provide diplomas for high school teachers, it will make our education training more complete,” said Koc. The course involves professors from Fu Jen coming to Macau teach at the college at weekends and students will receive a diploma conferred by Taiwan university upon completion of the course. The new course, which is not limited to teachers in Catholic schools, has already enrolled 42 people, all with bachelor degrees. “We think Fu Jen is an ideal partner not only because it has a faculty of education, but also because Taiwanese culture is similar to that in Macau and many teachers here have graduated from Taiwan,” said Koc. The new course began last week and the two institutions are also drawing up plans to train teachers in moral education and in education management.