Ten years on: Adult education and development in Timor-Leste

Type Journal Article - Hatene kona ba Compreender Understanding Mengerti
Title Ten years on: Adult education and development in Timor-Leste
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 255-260
URL http://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/vital/access/services/Download/swin:19622/SOURCE2#page=255
This paper is based on in-country research I have been doing with my colleague Deborah Durnan since
2004. Our research utilizes the theoretical framework of political economy, adapted for the study of adult
education in developing countries by our colleague Frank Youngman of the University of Botswana
(Youngman 2000; Boughton & Durnan 2005). Our methodology is participatory action research, which
means that we conduct our research in partnership with local Timorese adult education leaders, and our
focus is on action – specifically, the design, delivery and evaluation of adult education policy and
programs. One of our goals is to help local adult educators in Timor-Leste develop their own analyses
and understandings of the national adult education system as it is emerging, and to make decisions, based
on the evidence we help to collect, about the directions in which the system should be heading. Following
a brief given to us by the previous FRETILIN Minister for Education, Rosaria Corte Real, and confirmed
by the AMP Minister Joao Cancio after he took office, the work has divided into two main tasks. Firstly,
we have assisted the government to plan, deliver and evaluate the national adult literacy campaign which
was launched in 2007 (Sekretariadu Nasional KNA 2007; see also Boughton 2008; 2009). Secondly, we
developed a draft strategic plan for non-formal adult education for the period 2008-2015 (Boughton and
Durnan 2008).
My presentation begins with some basic propositions about the role of adult and popular
education in development. This is followed by a brief review of the history of adult education in TimorLeste
prior to independence. Next I look at what has been achieved since independence, before finishing
with some suggestions about some fundamental questions which must be faced now and the challenges
which lie head.

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