DILI, 11 may 2022 – The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MEJD), together with the United States Embassy and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched an initiative to introduce 21st Century Skills training for youth in Timor-Leste.
The training will be rolled out through the Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in Baucau, Dili, and Manatuto municipalities.
The initiative was launched by the Director-General of Education and Teaching of MEJD, Luis Fernándes, and UNICEF Deputy Country Representative, Ainhoa Jaureguibeitia, at the Community Learning Center (CLC) in Cristo Rei during a ceremony attended by students from the CLC, teachers, parents and community members, yesterday.
“Timor-Leste is now an established leader in exploring new frontiers in education for children and youth globally. We were the first to introduce the Eskola Ba Uma/Learning Passport to ensure children continued learning during the pandemic. We are now introducing courses on 21st-century skills to enable the young people of Timor-Leste to learn key skills and advance their learning at the same pace as many other countries in the world,” said Luis Fernándes, Director-General of Education and Teaching, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
Under this initiative, the MEJD will roll out nine courses in science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics (STEAM), and financial literacy. These courses will include theoretical and practical guidance and encourage youth to solve real-world challenges they experience, including those related to climate change, health and sanitation, upcycling, and food preservation.
The courses are available online in Tetun and employ innovative, world-class education techniques from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the INSPER University of Brazil. The courses have been developed by MEJD, UNICEF, MIT, and INSPER University.
“This program will help future Timorese leaders develop the skills needed to thrive in the 21st-century economy. This project reflects the U.S. commitment to strengthening educational opportunities for Timorese students, as well as our enduring partnership with Timor-Leste,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Tom Daley.
The UNICEF Deputy Country Representative, Ainhoa Jaureguibeitia said that: “These courses will help youth in Timor-Leste learn about skills that are relevant to the world today and help them lead innovation and solve problems that would have an impact on them now and for future generations. This collaboration between the US Government, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, and UNICEF will help them leap into the future and be the driving force for positive change.”
With support from the Government of the United States, through the U.S. Embassy in Dili, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will continue to roll out the courses to youth in Baucau and Manatuto and host an inter-school competition in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
All of the courses are also available on Microsoft’s Learning Passport platform, known locally as the Eskola ba Uma platform.
Journalist: Filomeno Martins
Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario