Dili, April 18, 2024

In a move to bolster Timor-Leste’s linguistic development, President J. Ramos-Horta officially opened a socialization seminar on Multilingual Education at the National Institute of Education (INFORDEPE) in Balide, Dili.

The seminar, organized through INFORDEPE’s Multilingual Education Program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, aims to enhance the literacy skills of Timorese citizens in various languages, particularly Tetun and Portuguese, throughout their lives.

“Mastering other languages, such as the official language Portuguese and the mother tongue, is very important for our lives and as our identity,” President Ramos-Horta stated. “I hope that in the coming years, the Tetun language will become even richer, including our native languages.”

The multilingual education program, spanning from pre-school to higher education levels, is designed to provide students, especially those in rural areas, with a solid foundation in literacy and numeracy by teaching them in the languages they understand best. This approach, as Minister Dulce Soares mentioned, will enable them to make an easier transition to learning the official languages as their second languages.

President Ramos-Horta also emphasized the crucial role that teachers will play in the success of this initiative. “With the leadership of the Minister of Education, there must be better teacher training, and this technical, scientific, and ideological training is essential, as they will be responsible for the education of our children.”

The opening of this multilingual education program marks a significant step in Timor-Leste’s efforts to promote a more inclusive and equitable education system. By celebrating the country’s linguistic diversity and empowering its citizens to thrive in an increasingly globalized world, this initiative holds the potential to shape Timor-Leste’s future.

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