Subject: LUSA: Lisbon's aid in 2005 targets education, Portuguese teaching

06-01-2005 21:41:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-6647059 Temas:

East Timor: Lisbon's aid in 2005 targets education, Portuguese teaching

Lisbon, Jan. 6 (Lusa) - East Timor and Portugal signed their annual cooperation accord Thursday and the world's newest nation will use a slice of Lisbon's euros 29.5 million aid package to support education and the expansion of Portuguese-language teaching over the next 12 months.

Timor's ambassador to Lisbon, Pascoela Barreto, said education and the teaching of Portuguese in her country were "key priorities".

She paid tribute to the role of Portuguese nationals in teaching their native tongue in Timor and also ensuring that many Timorese educational establishments function properly.

Barreto also praised the work of the Portuguese School in Dili, which provides "quality teaching" for the families of Portuguese nationals working in the country.

One problem area identified by the Timorese diplomat in educational cooperation with Portugal is students from the fledgling nation enrolled at Portuguese universities.

The track record of these Timorese students has not been as "bright" as expected", said Barreto.

Presiding over the aid handover ceremony was Portugal's state secretary for foreign affairs, Henrique de Freitas, who said the consolidation of Portuguese in Timor will serve Dili in its geographical "assertion", also boosting its influence in Europe via the CPLP Lusophone bloc.

Timor became the eighth member of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries) after throwing off the yoke of Indonesia's 24-year occupation in 1999.

Education and Portuguese-language projects in Timor this year will benefit from up to euros 9.4 million of Lisbon's aid package.

Teachers, journalists, civil servants and lawyers are among Timorese who will receive Portuguese lessons in 2005 from a pool of 96 teachers from Portugal supported by 170 local colleagues.

The largest chunk of Lisbon's aid, euros 17.1 million, will be spent on social and economic development projects, principally in the health sector.


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