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Taiwan and Macau in an educational partnership

MACAU (UCAN): The diocese of Macau is offering professional training for local high school teachers with a little help from the Jesuit-run Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan.

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,” Bishop Jose Lai Hung-seng from Macau said.

He added that he believes that it is important for teachers to be well-trained, as they are forming the future pillars of Macau.

The Catholic Church in the casino industry dominated enclave runs about 40 per cent of the local schools, where more than 500 high school teachers have never done a diploma of education.

Most were hired direct as university graduates. However, Koc Wa-pong, the vice-principal of the college, said that they must complete certain programmes to meet government requirements.

The majority of kindergarten and primary school teachers do have an education diploma from 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 to teach at the college on weekends. Students will receive a diploma conferred by the Taiwan university upon completion of their course.

While not limited to teachers in Catholic schools, the course has already enrolled 42 people, all holders of bachelor’s 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 of Macau and many teachers here have graduated from Taiwan,” Koc explained.

The new course began during the last week in October and the two institutions are also drawing up plans to train teachers in moral education and in educational management.

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