International Literacy Day: Ministry of Education continues efforts to combat illiteracy

International Literacy Day: Ministry of Education continues efforts to combat illiteracy

Ministry of Education, Armindo Maia (Image/ Tatoli)

DILI, 08 september 2022 (TATOLI) – The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) are committed to continuing to combat illiteracy in Timor-Leste.

“It is important for Timor-Leste to ensure that at least all Timorese can write, read and understand simple written texts,” Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Armindo Maia told TATOLI at the Government Palace.

The celebration of International Literacy Day (ILD) takes place on september 8 every year to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist within the local communities as well as globally.

ILD was declared by UNESCO on 26 October 1966 at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference. It aims to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights and to advance the literacy agenda toward a more literate and sustainable society.

The literacy rate in Timor-Leste has been increasing rapidly due to the significant progress made by the government and development partners.

According to Timor-Leste’s 2015 census: “Literacy has been rapidly improving in Timor-Leste. The adult literacy rate is 68.7 percent for men and 60.2 percent for women. By comparison, the youth literacy rate is much higher at 84.7 for young men and 84.1 for young women, illustrating the improvement as well as the closure of the gender gap.”

“The Government of Timor-Leste will continue to create conditions to make it easier for citizens to know how to read and write,” Maia said.

Maia said that the first government program to combat illiteracy in the country was called the ‘Alfabetização Solidária’ program: “This program was supported by the Government of Brazil.

“After some time, the program was transformed into “Yes, I can or Sim Eu Posso”, which was supported by the Government of Cuba. Later, the program was again transformed into Alafanamor and then Alfanatic,” Maia said.

He revealed that more than 15 Community Learning Centres have been set up to support the combat against illiteracy in the country.

Maia concluded that the Government is currently collaborating with UNESCO in the joint implementation of the program to combat illiteracy in the country: “UNESCO is one of our development partners that always support us in the fight against illiteracy. We also have the possibility of continuing our cooperation with Cuba, since they have great experience in the fight against illiteracy.”

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges


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