Timor Leste / East Timor became an independent nation on 20th May 2002. Its journey to nationhood has been wrought with tragedy.
Timor-Leste is a very poor country. Its primary economic base is agriculture, very much at a subsistence level. Its one million people generally are identified as Christians, mainly Catholic. They speak a range of dialects based on Tétum, some Indonesian and English. Portuguese is the official language.
• Literacy levels are rated at 43%
• One in four Timorese children do not attend primary school.
• Secondary Colleges are gradually being established.
• Many of the 7,825 teachers currently employed, including the volunteer teachers, have had only minimal training and most have no formal teaching qualifications.
• 60% of the population of Timor-Leste is under 18 years.
• 45% of young urban men are unemployed.
• Conditions of the schools vary with most having poor quality buildings and very limited educational resources.