Ventura Caetano began his career working as a teacher and trainer at the ADPP Teacher Training College of Nacala in 1989. Eight years later, he was appointed Headmaster of the college at Inhambane, and then in 1999 he became Headmaster of the Chimoio college, where he remains today. He himself is a graduate of the ADPP Teacher Training College in Maputo (1993) and was later instrumental in establishing One World University.
Ventura Caetano gets visibly excited in talking about the program at his college: “We work with student as a whole person, not just as a future teacher. It is only later that we start developing the professional side,” he explains. “This is because more than anything, we need the future education professionals to be humanly rich persons who are inspired by their work and able to carry this wealth with them to the rural – and sometimes very remote – areas in which they will work. This is especially true in Mozambique, where you find a lot of shortcomings in the rural areas. Many villages lack initiatives and there might not be much that would create dynamism. This demands a lot from the teachers we graduate: a lot needs to come from them.”
“This is why we work so much on the character of our students,” Ventura continues. “This is done right from the beginning, since the very first year of the studies when students meet with people from various backgrounds from Mozambique and abroad and learns from their realities, their history, their culture. This is a process that leads into our future teachers to open their minds.”
The first year studies are there to prepare the students for the second year when they start having regular contact with primary school children through the pedagogical practices. “The capacity of connecting with the children and the level of commitment of the students is something that comes from inside and which is very much due to the fact that, since the first day of their training, they have been challenged in this sense,” Ventura explains. “A school only functions well when all contribute,” continues the Headmaster. “Our primary schools can only function well if the students participate in the learning process. This is why a teacher has to learn to trust her students.”