It was so good to spend much time with the students of Our Lady of Mt Carmel High School! On Saturday I joined their weekend activities. A Mass, totally in English was followed by a singing competition, then poetry competition. Wow, such high standards, but of course there was only 1 winner per category. The prizes were praise and accolades. This senior high school currently has 252 students enrolled – 66 in Year 12; 96 in Year 11; 92 in Year 10. Through LETS, 100 students are sponsored to attend the school. The students who received letters/gifts were overjoyed and would love to know more about their sponsors. They hope to meet them in Letefoho, one day!
The school has 14 paid teachers, 4 volunteer teachers and 1 government funded teacher. The Head of the school is Fr Helio, who also teaches in the school. Last year all of the Year 12 students passed the Nacional Examination (like our Higher School Certificate) and achieved outstanding results for the Ermera District. These great results were achieved as a result of the hard work put in by, Fr’s Helio and Eugenio and all teachers and staff. Special appreciation must be given to Peirre-Jean and Zoe Gougis, a wonderful young volunteer couple who have been in Letefoho for the past 18 months. They are sponsored by the French organisation, Fidesco, and have contributed far beyond their responsibilities to Our Lady of Mt Carmel school and the whole of the Letefoho community. How blessed Letefoho is to have them!
The girls boarding house is looking great and is home to 33 students, 2 house parents – Josephina and Fatima, and 1 part-time assistant cook. The students share the cleaning and cooking and keep the house very tidy. They study 7 days per week for at least 2 hours and are very happy to be living there.
The old house being used as temporary boys boarding house is occupied by 9 boys and Lucas, the house parent. After much discussion we have decided to renovate and extend this building rather than build a new boarding house. The renovated house will then be able to accommodate about 15 boys. Hopefully, this may encourage more boys to complete their senior high school education.
Fr Helio and Eddie de Pina were planning to visit Australia this May, however, this trip has been indefinitely postponed, due to the corona virus. Timor Leste remains one of the few countries where the virus is currently not present. We pray this remains the case!
Fr Helio, Fr Eugenio and all the students have asked me to pass on their best wishes and most sincere thanks for all you are doing for the people of Letefoho.
Please read the letter from Rosalina do Carmo, a Year 12 student living in the boarding house. She has written on behalf of all the students, to thank the people of LNSP.
Lao ho Maromak.
Latest from Letefoho 2021
Report from Fr Helio
Our Lady of Mt Carmel of Letefoho
We started school this year slightly late due to the Government new imposed restrictions on COVID-19. According to the national calendar released by Minister of Education, the schools should start on 18 January 2021. We have a total of 66 students from 2020 intake expected to graduate (36 M, 30F).
All of our 2020 intake final year students passed the National examination with satisfaction and Letefoho Catholic School is very proud because two students from our School Hold the first-class classification in Municipality level (Ermera). Letefoho students score the highest from all students in Ermera from this National examination. The two students are: Marcos Soares and Rosalina do Carmo. Since 2018, our students keep on scoring higher grades at the National examination level for our municipality. As for Rosalina do Carmo, she is keen to continue pursuing her studies in Aviation engineering for Pilot and as we have discussed with you before, we are exploring some options in the country to support her to start her foundational learning with existing female pilots in the country at the same time, we are encouraging more sponsorship for this noble ambition for her studies in this field. She will be the first from Letefoho and Ermera to pursue such field for studies. This will also be great example for girls to never give up on studies and their dreams to be what they dream of achieving. We count on your support as and prayers.
From 2016 to 2020 we have recorded a total of 263 students graduated. From this total, 37 are Nation University (UNTL), 7 are at UNPAZ, 2 are at UNITAl, 2 are at UNDIL, 1 is at DIT, 1 is at ETCI, 1 is at IPDC and 6 are at Jesuits School Teachers College in Kasait. And to congregation and seminary are 14, 6 are doing Korean learning training, 8 are doing English training and the rest are not pursuing formal education.
From this total, 54 students (20,5%) continued to the various tertiary education with majority at the National University. While 9.5% (25) students entering to seminary and other religious congregation and some language training proficiency. In addition, 70% of the total graduated are not pursuing formal education or vocational training and mostly due to economic limitation.
From the tertiary education students mainly from the National University we have 6 students now undertaking an internship at Catholic schools of Letefoho (2), 2 in public school in Letefoho and s2 in Technic vocational school in Atsabe
At this stage we do not know yet how many students will be enrolled in The East Timor National University and other universities in 2021. I think we will only able to get this information in March.
This year (2021) we have 312 students in total (181 F, 130 M). Annually we are seeing increasing in the number of students enrolling and consistency in completing their studies. Comparing to previous years, 2021 has the highest number of students enrolling. The increased number of students in 2021 is a true testament and evidence in the trust in the educational quality of our school and the services /programs that our school has provided
In 2021, we have a total of 16 teachers for all subjects. This number hasn’t responded to the quantity of students yet. However, we have recruited an additional 6 teachers, yet we need 2 more teachers (for English and Physics).
For 2021- we have 125 new students enrolled for year 10. Out this number we have identified about 30 students who may need funding support for their studies. So, we are proposing to send the list of the 30 new students for your reviews, consideration and decision.
Infrastructure and classroom facilities
Our School has started since December 2020, led by Father Eugenio in preparing 3 new classrooms in responding to the number of new students. So, we have worked on the existing building and created the new 3 rooms which Amu Eugenio has shared the pictures with you.
We also extended the school’s canteen and plan to build a new warehouse and a kitchen. The warehouse will be used to store important materials such as Laptop, books, musical instruments, sound system’s equipment and schools’ uniforms.
Boarding house Facilities
In 2021, we have 6 more girls enrolled for the boarding house and so it gives us now a total of 39 girls staying in the dormitory facility. We also have 10 more boys enrolled and this totaling to 18. This is the current number; we may see further increase in the enrolment for the boarding house facilities in the coming months. This new number has yet to include existing year 12 students who will be returning to the dorms a little bit later this year. This will make the total number of students living in the dorms facilities to be around 100 students. This number actually exceeding the capacity we have in the dorms and therefore, we are looking to prioritize the students who really needed to be staying in the dorms. The school’s structure and parish are thinking to prioritize students who live far from school, from the remote villages which will give them better opportunities to prepare for the final year and national exams
Boarding Houses’ conditions
Boys’ boarding house:
This boarding house is under construction and will be extended from the old building. The extension will include four bathrooms, one kitchen, warehouse and a dining room. This project has started. This project will take sometimes to progress as the initial preparation is heavier in terms of cutting land/soil, carrying soil or moving the soils and filling in the rooms. Currently the rainy season also slows down the progress.
Girls’ boarding house
It has good condition. It is well looked after the students as well.
Students at Jesuits School
There are 6 students currently studying at the Jesuits School in Kasait – Liquisa. They are all doing well. Joaninha do Carmo dos Santos is one of the students, who is doing remarkably well and achieved a excellent score. The results of each student have been shared earlier on and we are proud as most of them are able to achieve high distinction in their grades. With regards to their final grades and school fees, I have sent them already through email. I would like to inform you that the students were studying History and Psychology were transferred to English Department. The institute has explained the reasons, also in attachment, which I have also sent you in the previous emails.
We are seeking your advice with our proposal to LETS’ board to also help with an additional 6 more for the students from Letefoho to study in the Jesuits School for 2021 intake. We have recommended that the students to undertake courses in Portuguese, Mathematic and Religion. We are proposing to have two students enrolled for each of the courses and this is also in anticipation and preparation for future teachers for Letefoho Catholic School.
This is some of the information I am able to share with you today and we continue to pray for your mission and support to Letefoho and appreciate the support highly as always
Thank you once again for your ongoing commitment and support, we appreciate them very much and looking forward to working together for this year.
Prepared By: Fr. Elio Fernandes and Father Eugenio Lafu
Latest from Letefoho March 2020
My recent trip to Timor Leste was as wonderful as usual, and very successful. I was met at Dili airport by Eddie de Pina and joined his family for early coffee. It was great to see him, Mary and their lovely children, Fatima, Mario and Tatiana again.
Before travelling from Dili to Letefoho, Fr Helio and I met with Isabel Fernandes de Lima, from the National Labour Force Development Institute to learn about the accredited vocational education courses available in Timor Leste, and their accessibility for students from Letefoho. We visited the diocesan seminary in Kaliti where 2 students from Letefoho, Lucas and Abilio, continue to be supported by LNSP parishioners. On our way to Letefoho we met with 6 sponsored students who are enrolled in the Jesuit Teachers College in Kasait. They are studying to teach a variety of courses – Religion, Mathematics, English, Portuguese and Psychology, while boarding in private homes. Two more of last year’s graduates are studying at the Nacional University of Timor Leste, in Dili. I now know the fees for this, the best university in Timor Leste are US$122 per year.
The finishing of chapel in Eraulo is progressing again! The ceiling has now been lined and the stained- glass windows, which will form the Stations of the Cross, have been measured up! During a meeting with Fr Helio, Eddie de Pina and Jack Singh, the most generous architect and supporter of the chapel, we discussed the work needed for completion. Decisions about the interior fit-out will need to be made soon!
LETS work together