Tiny classrooms, big hearts.
This amazing school currently has an enrolment of 60 students from Playgroup to Year Six. Most students speak between two and four languages, but all instruction is in English – the international language of business and politics. The school uses a modified Australian curriculum.
It is situated in a crumbling building in Dili with exposed wiring and primitive toilets. Several of the classrooms have no furniture. However it is staffed by dedicated and innovative teachers (Timorese and Filipino) and the students have an enormous hunger for learning.
“Our biggest aim as a school is to produce a leader for this country,” founder Cristina Yuri R. S. Costa says. “It is not about facilities and luxurious buildings, but good teachers working with children to give them a good education, building a great future.
“Our kids are smart and talented like all kids, but they need the opportunity to get the best education possible. Most of our parents do not earn much, and our public schools do the best they can. However, as a human being, and as a mother of two kids, I want to make accessible the best education possible. I want to get our school to international standard. It is the most sustainable project you can think of, for the future of the people and the country.”
Hear more from Cristina.
Timor-Leste is one of Australia’s closest neighbours, and one of the poorest – in the bottom quartile for global wealth. Hard-working Timorese people are doing their best to build their young country, and one important way to make this happen is through education.
St Anthony’s is supported through membership of the Association of Independent Schools of the Northern Territory (AISNT). The school participates in reforestation projects and foreshore rubbish collection as civic service. The teachers’ dedication is exemplified by free tutoring they provide outside school hours to children who do not attend their school.
The work of St Anthony’s to produce students fluent in English and capable of taking leading roles in the life of the nation will have positive impacts for decades to come.
The school urgently needs money to continue its powerful work, paying for:
· Teacher salaries
· Desks and chairs for junior classrooms
· Playgroup learning tools
· Remedial building works to improve toilets and exposed wiring
· Library books
· Access to Australian curriculum materials
· Pencils, pens and paper
There is capacity for St Anthony’s to accept extra students, but they will need to be financially supported. Full scholarships for Timorese students to attend the school:
· Kindergarten – US$1080 per year
· Year 1-3 – US$1440 per year
· Year 4-7 – US $1800 per year
Giving will make you as happy as this fella!
Any money that you can spare to support this inspiring school will be very gratefully accepted. Every dollar will go directly to the school. More information: www.aisnt.asn.au/projects/st-anthonys-international-school-dili
- Sandy Chan
- Kathleen Phelan
- Naomi Lemmon
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