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Submitted by Joao on

Dear Trevar,

Thank you for your comments and observations on our education system
I have a few points to add to your observation:
First as you may be aware, we only gained our independence in 2002, during our 1999 referendum and the turmoil that followed during the period, the majority of teachers, who in fact were Indonesians left the country leaving a very small pool of qualified Timorese teachers.
Second, only 10% of the population speaks Portuguese, which is the language taught in schools as one of the official languages chosen by the parliament.
There is currently only one university providing a bachelors degree in teaching which is a privately run university, where the majority of these teachers who graduate are absorbed into private schools (Catholic schools.)
We currently have over 7000 volunteer teachers in the country. The Portuguese cooperation is working with Ministry of Education to provide this cadre of teachers to at least have a level of competency equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
The National Institute for Training of Teachers (INFORDEPE) is currently working with the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL) to provide a master level of qualification for a number of teachers to become master trainers from the district level, down to the village level.
The Ministry of Education along with bilateral and multilateral partners are working hard to address these concerns you have raised. Thank you once again for your interests in the country's education system.
If you have further observation I am happy to clarify any concerns you may have.