On Wednesday the 10th of April 2019, the RAEOA-ZEESM TL supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNICEF launched a partnership project “Leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to Improve Education and Skills in Timor-Leste” with thanks the generous contribution of the Government of India.
The ceremony, hosted by the President of Authority of RAEOA – ZEESM TL, Dr. Mari Alkatiri, UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Roy Trivedy and UNDP Resident Representative in Timor-Leste, Mr. Claudio Providas, counted with the special participation of the Ambassador of India in Timor-Leste, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Rawat. Regional Secretaries, Directors of Schools, Professors and Students.
The President of the Authority in RAEOA-ZEESM TL, Dr. Mari Alkatiri, highlighted the importance of this partnership in the improvement of educational outcomes. Dr. Alkatiri stated “Skills education is highly important to create better economic opportunities for all. We value our people and we are giving them the tools they need to succeed”.
With more than 60% of young people unemployed in Timor-Leste and 30% illiteracy rate, the launch of the systemic integration of ICT education aims to increase the access of learning opportunities for primary and secondary education as well as improve the quality of teaching and learning to rural schools across the Oé-Cusse region.
Improving the quality of education in Oé-Cusse will allow for 5, 000 young students from twelve different schools to receive support through the implementation of four in-house innovation labs and 8 schools will receive once a week engagement with the mobile innovation lab. The ICT labs will be a space for innovation and experimentation, where young students can gain computer skills and learn basic computer programming and applied science, such as how to assemble solar panels or a solar water heating system at home. A curriculum with content will be developed for the students to acquire important computer usage knowledge and life skills.
Additionally, the ICT labs will enhance child and young people’s knowledge on financial literacy and business development as well as environmental awareness through the development and implementation of two computer-based educative interactive games in Tetum and Portuguese language.