The Two Hour Fence : Timorese Technical Education

Fence_buildingA report from Peter and Tricia from July 2013.

One Saturday morning we arrived at 01 Viqueque school at 8.30 to see all the girls walking towards the new classroom block which had only been opened a week ago. Each student was carrying a long stick. When we walked across we discovered the following: With great strength boys stripping long bamboo branches into four parts, two boys sharpening the sticks, others drilling them into the ground, others stripping palm leaves, and then others tying the pieces together. Within two hours the classroom block was surrounded by a fence on three sides to keep out the pigs, goats, chooks, dogs, cattle and any other animals that stray into the school ground, as well as children during non school hours. It was a remarkable effort, just stunning to see the whole school so co-operatively and with great skill build its fence. All this activity was supervised by one man, the Principal Agapito Martinez. Truly amazing!

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