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Church supplies teachers to university

Nuns and priests double up to teach local and foreign students

Participants at yesterday’s workshop in Dili Participants at yesterday’s workshop in Dili
  • Fransiskus P. Seran, Dili
  • Timor Leste
  • March 11, 2011
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The diocese of Dili in Timor Leste has been helping a state-run university in Dili, by assigning priests and nuns to teach at the institution.

The National University of Timor Leste or Universidade Nacional de Timor Leste, established in 2000, now has 10,556 students from different countries including Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

It hires 137 lecturers including four diocesan, Divine Word and Jesuit priests and five Canossian, Carmelite, Dominican and Franciscan nuns.

“The diocese of Dili always supplies skilled priests and nuns to teach at the university,” said Miguel Maia, co-chairman of the academics desk, after a workshop organized yesterday in the state capital.

He said the local Church has played a significant role in the development of human resources in the country.

“The future of this country is in the hand of the priests and nuns. Generally, they have teaching experience in several developed countries,” he acknowledged.

Sister Esmeralda, co-chair of the student affairs desk, pointed out that the nuns and priests have worked based on a standard system.

“I see that Timor Leste now needs to focus on the development of human resources, because this is important,” she said.

Melina Esteves Pinto Soares agreed that the university’s lecturers are well qualified. “They taught the students by giving simple examples of concrete daily life. So I could easily grasp what they taught,” said the 25-year-old student of Portuguese literature.

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