The COVID-19 pandemic created the most severe global education disruption in history. Today, half of the world’s student population (more than 800 million learners) is still affected by full or partial school closures. The school closures affected children unequally, as not all children have the opportunities, tools, or access needed to continue learning during the pandemic.
Lack of educational infrastructure and resources for distance learning affects the learning continuation in Timor-Leste. With funding support from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), UNESCO supports Basic Science Education for grades 7 to 9 in Timor-Leste to access free and quality education across the country during and post- COVID-19.
On behalf of UNESCO, Mr Roy Triverdy, UN Resident Coordinator for Timor-Leste, and Mr Francisco Barreto from Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO - as the main project partner -, handed over the Basic Science Education Student Workbooks to the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS), Mr Armindo Maia, on 25 October 2021. The workbooks aim to support Basic Education Students in Timor-Leste to continue studying during the pandemic.
Mr Mohamed Djelid, Director of UNESCO Jakarta and UNESCO Representative to Timor-Leste joined the event virtually from Jakarta. He conveyed UNESCO’s congratulations and appreciation to the MoEYS, KOICA and all stakeholders of this project, enabling UNESCO to achieve “One Book One Student”. “All education stakeholders shall work together to ensure the learning continuity in Timor-Leste” stated Mr Mohamed Djelid
H. E. Mr Kim Jeong Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea for Timor-Leste, shared that high educational aspirations had played a key role in economic and social growth when Korea fought against poverty, and that the Government of the Republic of Korea will continue its commitment to improving access to education for Timorese students.
The handover ceremony celebrated one of the milestones of the Post-Project of Cycle 3 of Basic Education for Mathematics and Science: “Education Response to COVID-19 in Advancing the National Educational Broadcasting System to Ensure the Continuity of Learning in Basic Science Education for All in Timor-Leste”.
To support the use of Basic Education Science Workbooks, UNESCO is also developing Distance Learning Programme for Science through the National Educational Broadcasting System (EBS). This programme will ease and enable the students to access “Free and Quality Education” through television. The EBS will strengthen the national capacity in distance teaching and learning as part of UNESCO Education Responses during and post-COVID-19 and any cases of similar Education in Emergency in the future.