Subject: LUSA: 3,000 teachers of Portuguese trained last year, says official

East Timor: 3,000 teachers of Portuguese trained last year, says official

Dili, Jan. 16 (Lusa) - Lisbon funded the training of 3,000 Portuguese-language teachers in East Timor in the last academic year, a Portuguese official said Monday.

Education attaché at Portugal's Dili embassy, José Revez was speaking at a ceremony to award diplomas to the Timorese teachers of Portuguese. He said over 6,000 Portuguese teachers have been trained in Timor since 2003.

Also present was Timor's minister of education and culture, Armindo Maia, who praised Portugal`s "speedy response" to a call from the Dili authorities for assistance to reintroduce Portuguese in the new nation after its independence in 2002.

Continuing support to Timor's education sector will come from Portugal, said Maia, and this assistance will soon be extended to higher education.

Portuguese and Tetum are Timor's two official languages. Bahasa Indonesian, English and over a dozen smaller indigenous tongues are also spoken among its population of about 1 million.



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