What do we do?
Since its independence in 1992, Timor-Leste has made considerable economic and social progress however four in ten Timorese still live below the national poverty line. Challenges facing the country’s economic growth include a low-skilled workforce and poor education outcomes.
Many pre-schools in Timor Leste are currently under-resourced, inadequate and ageing facilities, often without basic electricity, roofing, toilets and water needs. With the support of donations, Educating The Future (ETF) is working to renovate and/or construct preschools in regional and remote Timor-Leste to:
- Establish safe pre-school facilities which encourage positive learning outcomes and are geographically accessible to children.
- Increase the percentage of pre-school-aged children that are enrolled in pre-school.
- Reduce repetition and drop-out in primary education by improving early literacy and childhood development.
Following Timor-Leste’s independence, approximately 95 percent of education infrastructure was destroyed and a large majority of teachers left the nation (World Bank, 2013). In Timor-Leste, ETF provides relief to the 5 high priority districts of Timor-Leste based on weak child development indicators (UNICEF, 2014).
ETF provides help to regional and remote children as it is evident that compared to urban children, they have 15.9% lower levels of literacy, are 70 percent of the total population, the median age is 1.4 years lower and contain 74 percent of Timor-Leste’s population under the age of 14 (Timor-Leste Census, 2015). More specifically, UNICEF (2015) indicates that only 17 percent of children aged 3 – 6 in Timor-Leste are enrolled in preschool which may have a correlation with the 23 percent repetition rate of children in year 1.
In addition, qualitative research through stakeholder meetings has indicated that children aged 3 – 6 are in need of preschool education to improve their confidence, intellectual capability and social skills.
ETF also provide opportunities for students to give back to their community.
The Impact of Our Work
Educating The Future’s social impact is targeted primarily towards rural Timor-Leste, specifically through the construction of pre-schools in rural areas. As such, ETF’s local impact has yet to be formally articulated.
Educating The Future sees its Australian impact in its contribution to the development of the next generation of Australian leaders through the development and progression of its volunteers. Distinctly, ETF is seeking to increase awareness and education externally in the wider community through partnerships with established organisations.