The Timor Leste secession conflict lasted for 25 years. Its last wave of violence in 1999, following the withdrawal of Indonesian troops, generated massive d isplacement and destruction with widespread consequences for the economic and social development of the country. This paper analy z es the impact of the conflict on the level and access to education of boys and girls in Timor Leste. We examine the short - term impact of the 1999 violence on school attendance and grade deficit rates in 2001, and the longer - term impact of the conflict on primary school completion of cohorts of children observed in 2007. We compare also the educational impact of the 1999 wave of v iolence with the impact of other periods of high - intensity violence during the 25 years of Indonesian occupation. The short - term effects of the conflict are mixed. In the longer term, we find a strong negative impact of the conflict on primary school compl etion among boys of school age exposed to peaks of violence during the 25 - year long conflict. The effect is stronger for boys attending the last three grades of primary school. This result shows a substantial loss of human capital among young males in Timo r Leste since the early 1970s, resulting from household investment trade - offs between education and economic survival.