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Projetu CAFE / Eskola Referénsia Portugeza:
Tempu liu ona atu halo avaliasaun

The CAFE Project / Portuguese Reference Schools:
Overdue for evaluation

27 December 2018

Konteudu

Contents

Ho naran uluk nian Eskola Referénsia Portugeza, projetu CAFE (Centros de Aprendizagem e Formação Escolar) hetan rekoñesimentu husi lider Timoroan balu nudár modelu ida ba eskola sira hanesan pre-eskolár, ensinu báziku to’o sekundária iha Timor-Leste. Misaun prinsipál husi eskola referénsia sira ne’e mak atu hadi’a kualidade hanorin no kuda fini ba jerasaun foun sira bele matenek ho lia-portugés. Maski nune’e, sei falta informasaun ba públiku kona-ba projetu bilateral ne’e no mós iha preokupasaun seluk ba projetu ne’e efetivu duni ka lae atu atinje ninia meta sira. Dala ruma ema haree eskola sira ne’e hanesan elite no bazeia ba ideia koloniál katak saida de’it mak mai husi Portugal tenke di’ak liu kompara ho Timoroan nia rekursu sira ka matenek lokál rasik. No mós, eskola sira ne’e uza ona Estadu nian rekursu barak tebes kompara ho eskola públiku sira seluk.

Akordu bilateral entre Ministériu Edukasaun Portugal no Ministériu Edukasaun Timor-Leste ne’ebé define projetu CAFE durante tinan haat liubá sei remata iha fulan-Dezembru 2019. Nune’e, Timor-Leste sei deside oinsá atu kontinua ho eskola sira ne’e. La’o Hamutuk oferese artigu ne’e hodi tulun ukun-na’in sira no mós públiku hodi komprende projetu CAFE nia istória, meta, kustu, no atu sujere rekomendasaun xave balu. Dezde uluk, ami halo advokasia atu hasa’e orsamentu estadu nian ba setór edukasaun no iha tempu hanesan, ami ezije katak projetu edukasaun sira ne’ebé estadu uza osan povu nian hodi hala’o tenke bazeia ba evidénsia no asegura katak Timoroan hotu hetan asesu ba edukasaun ho kualidade di’ak.

Formerly known as Portuguese Reference Schools, CAFE (Centros de Aprendizagem e Formação Escolar – School Learning and Teacher Training Centers) schools have been celebrated by some Timorese leaders as a model for all primary and secondary schools in Timor-Leste. Their primary mission is to improve the quality of teaching around the country, and sow the seeds of Portuguese fluency for coming generations. However, the public has little information about the bilateral project, and many questions surround whether the schools are effective in meeting their goals. Some view the schools as exclusive and based on a colonial idea that anything from Portugal is intrinsically better than its Timorese equivalent. Additionally, the CAFE schools require far more Timor-Leste State resources than equivalent public schools.

The bilateral agreement between the Portuguese and Timor-Leste Ministries of Education which has defined the CAFE schools for the past four years will end in December 2019, and Timor-Leste will decide whether or how to continue with these schools. La’o Hamutuk offers this article to help decision makers and the broader public better understand the CAFE project’s history, goals and costs, and to suggest some recommendations. As we advocate strongly for increased funding to the Education sector, we also urge that state-financed and bilateral education programs be evidence-based and maximize quality learning for every Timorese student.

 
Eskola CAFE iha Dili


TETUM: Eskola CAFE Manatuto hetan edifisiu foun ne'e iha tinan 2018. Molok ne'e, sira uza sala sira EBC Vasco de Gama nian.
Manatuto's CAFE School moved into these new buildings in 2018, after using classrooms of EBC Vasco de Gama for years.

Sumáriu kona-ba Projetu CAFE

Agora daudaun iha eskola CAFE 13, ida iha kada sentru munisípiu no Oe-Cusse-Ambeno, eskola sira ne’e hotu iha area urbanu. Eskola sira-ne’e iha estudante liu na’in-7,000, menus husi 3% husi totál estudante sira iha nivel hanesan eskola públiku sira seluk. Tuir akordu ne’ebé iha, eskola CAFE mak eskola públiku no tenke hanorin kurríkulu nasionál, maibé uza lia-portugés bainhira hanorin. Eskola públiku pre-eskolár no ensinu báziku seluk uza Tetun nudár lian dahuluk atu hanorin oinsá lee no hakerek no mós lian prinsipál ba hanorin iha klase ki’ik sira, hafoin aumenta neineik tempu hanorin uza Portugés to’o antes klase 6 remata, maioria tempu hanorin uza Portugés.

 Nota: Liafuan MANORIN iha signifikadu hanesan mestre/mestra; profesór/profesora; edukadór/edukadora. Maski ladún komún iha sosiedade, ami uza “manorin” hodi promove dezenvolvimentu Tetun nian ne’ebé inkluzivu ba mane no feto hotu.

Iha objetivu ka komponente tolu ba projetu CAFE:

  1. Fornese edukasaun públiku ho kualidade di’ak ne’ebé uza lia-portugés ba hanorin matéria hotu;

  2. Fornese formasaun iha lia-portugés hodi prepara manorin (mestre/mestra) foun sira;

  3. Fornese formasaun no haforsa kapasidade ba manorin no administradór sira iha eskola públiku lokál.

Iha tinan 2017, Projetu CAFE fó serbisu ba manorin Portugés na’in-129 (nudár manorin no administradór), manorin Timoroan na’in-107, no manorin Timoroan iha estájiu na’in-62. Tinan-tinan, projetu aumenta klase ida ho objetivu atu aumenta nune’e to’o kada eskola CAFE inklui klase sira husi pre-eskolár to’o sekundáriu remata. Hahú iha tinan 2019, projetu sei inklui klase sira iha nivel sekundáriu.

Hanesan komponente pre-eskolár parte xave projetu nian dezde hahú, maioria estudante CAFE nian iha esperiénsia pre-eskolár, kompara ho só 22% husi labarik idade pre-eskolár ne’ebé tuir duni pre-eskolár. Eskola CAFE sira nia loron eskolár naruk liu duke eskola sira seluk, iha estudante másimu na’in-30 iha sala ida, manorin 2 iha kada salaun, no fasilidade eskola nian jerálmente di’ak liu kompara ho eskola públiku seluk. Maski daudaun ne’e eskola CAFE sira hetan orsamentu hanesan (25 centavos) ba kada estudante nia merenda eskolár, eskola CAFE sira la tuir planu merenda eskolár no dala barak fornese paun, manteiga no susu-been, buat ne’ebé baibain iha eskola Portugeza maibé la inklui iha menu eskola baibain Timor nian, ne’ebé agora koko atu prioritiza hahán lokál no organiku ne’ebé iha balansu nutriutivu. Kona-ba diferensa ne’e, Koordenadora CAFE esplika ba La’o Hamutuk katak família mak responsabiliza fornese hahán di’ak iha uma, entaun CAFE foka ba fornese ‘merenda’ (hahán ki’ik) ne’ebé dalaruma inklui hahán lokál.

Haree ba benefísiu sira ne’ebé iha projetu ne’e, ita sei la hakfodak katak família barak liu posivel hakarak hatama sira-nia oan sira iha eskola CAFE. Maski regra ofisiál mak eskola tenke simu estudante sira tuir sira-nia data inskrisaun, maibé iha istória barak hatudu katak inan-aman sira ne’ebé iha pozisaun di’ak liu mak hetan fatin fasil liu. Dadus husi 2016 ne’ebé hetan rekolla iha Oé-Cusse, Manatuto no Lautém haree katak maioria boot (80%) estudante iha eskola CAFE mai husi família sira ne’ebé iha rekursus di’ak kompara ho estudante sira iha eskola públiku sira seluk; 40% husi estudante sira iha eskola públiku baibain mak husi família ki’ak, maibé kuaze la iha família husi eskola CAFE iha kategoria hanesan ne’e.

Maski akordu bilaterál hatete katak kada tinan manorin Timoroan sei troka manorin Portugeza sira balu, maibé realidade iha eskola CAFE barak katak ne’e seidauk akontese tuir planu. Nune’e, projetu CAFE depende maka’as ba manorin sira husi Portugal, no la atinje objetivu boot segundu. Maski iha planu atu halo avaliasaun independente iha tinan 2017, maibé avaliasaun ne’e seidauk halo.

The CAFE Project in Summary

There are now 13 CAFE schools, one in each municipal capital and Oe-Cusse-Ambeno, all in urban areas. These schools serve more than 7,000 students, less than 3% of all public school students of the same grades. The CAFE schools are, by their statute, Timor-Leste public schools, expected to teach the national curriculum, but use Portuguese as the language of instruction in all levels and grades. Other preschool and primary schools now use Tetum as the first language of literacy and primary language of instruction in the earliest years, gradually increasing the amount of Portuguese until it is the primary language of instruction by the end of grade 6.

There are three main goals or components of the CAFE Project:

  1. Providing quality public education using the Portuguese language for all subjects;

  2. Providing pre-service training in Portuguese to recent university graduates and new teachers;

  3. Providing training and skill-building for teachers and administrators of local public schools.

In 2017, the CAFE Project employed 129 teachers from Portugal (as both teachers and administrators), 107 Timorese teachers, and 62 Timorese teachers-in-training. The project has grown each year, adding new grade levels toward the final goal of each school including preschool through high school classes Starting in 2019, the program will, for the first time, add some secondary level classes.

As the preschool component was a key part of the project since its beginning, most CAFE students have attended preschool whereas only 22% of all pre-school aged children attend preschool, a number which is slowly rising each year. CAFE schools teach for more hours each day, have a maximum limit of 30 students in each classroom, two teachers per class, and better overall school facilities. While CAFE schools currently spend the same amount (25 cents) per child per day on the “school feeding ” program, their menu leans to bread, butter and milk, items which are normal in Portugal but not included on regular Timorese schools’ menus which prioritize a balanced nutritious meal made with locally grown and produced foods. In response to a question about this difference, the CAFE project Coordinator told La’o Hamutuk that CAFE students eat breakfast and lunch at home and do not need a full meal at school; thus CAFE focuses on providing only a “snack”, which sometimes includes local foods.

Given the real and apparent benefits of the program, it is no surprise that more families want to enroll their children in CAFE schools than they can accommodate. Although the official rule is that students are admitted on a first come-first serve basis, there are many stories that parents in positions of power have a clear edge. Data collected in 2016 from Oecusse, Manatuto and Lautem found that CAFE students overwhelmingly (80%) come from more affluent families than those in other regular public schools; while 40% of students at the regular schools were from poor families, nearly no CAFE families were in this category.

While the bilateral agreement envisions gradual replacement of Portuguese teachers by trained Timorese teachers, this has not happened to plan, leaving the CAFE program heavily dependent on the Portuguese teachers, and falling short in reaching one of its primary goals. Though there were publicized plans for an independent evaluation of the project in early 2017, no such evaluation has happened.

Istória Projetu nian

Projetu CAFE liuhosi prosesu naruk no hetan mudansa boot dala tolu ho naran tolu, maibé jerálmente, projetu nia vizaun la dook husi ninia idea hahú iha tinan 2009. Alende iha mudansa iha detallu sira, projetu nafatin iha vizaun boot ne’ebé kontinua iha tempu naruk, liuhosi aumenta tinan-tinan to’o dezenvolve ona nu’udar ezemplu di’ak ba sistema edukasaun pre-eskolár, ensinu báziku no sekundária iha Timor-Leste.

Eskola ‘Polos’ husi Eskola Portugeza Dili (2010-2012)

Iha Abril 2010, Governu Timor-Leste no Governu Portugál asina akordu bilaterál espesiál ne’ebé estabelese eskola ‘Polo’ haat iha distritu Maliana, Same, Baucau no Oé-Cusse. Eskola sira ne’e tuir ezemplu Eskola Portugés Rui Cinatti, eskola internasionál, privadu ne’ebé tuir kurríkulu no polítika Portugál nian. Iha akordu 2010 ne’e, Timor-Leste sai responsavel ba gastu hotu liga ba konstrusaun no/ka re-abilitasaun edifísiu ka ekipamentu; dala barak fasilidade sira ne’ebé di’ak liu iha kada sentru munisípiu hetan empresta ka uza, no obriga eskola seluk tenke muda hodi fó espasu.

Projetu Eskola Referénsia sira (2012-2014)

Hafoin tinan ida ho balu, iha Setembru 2011, iha akordu foun kona-ba kooperasaun ne’e muda naran eskola sira ne’e ba “eskola referénsia” no haluan projetu ne’e hodi inklui eskola ida iha kada distritu (agora munisípiu). Akordu ida ne’e refere ba susesu akadémiku estudante nian iha tinan hirak liubá molok iha eskola Polo sira hodi justifika projetu foun ne’e, maski ami nia peskiza la konsege hetan dokumentu ho evidénsia ne’e. Akordu ne’e mós temi nesesidade urjente sira tuirmai ne’e nu’udar razaun ba projetu: formasaun manorin nian, dezenvolvimentu kurríkulu nian, “Konsolidasaun lian no kultura Portugés iha territóriu” no “fornesimentu ba kualidade no dignidade ba sistema edukasaun Timor nian. Akordu foun ne’e obriga eskola sira atu iha turma 2 ho númeru másimu estudante na’in-25 iha kada klase, hahú ho pre-eskolár no kontinua ba ensinu báziku no sekundária, tuir posibilidade espasu no infrastrutura ne’ebé iha. Akordu mós obriga Ministériu Edukasaun Timor-Leste nian atu aumenta klase ida kada tinan ba eskola ida-idak to’o inklui sekundária to’o remata, no haree realidade ho espasu, ne’e la bele atinje iha períodu akordu ne’e. Akordu mós obriga hanorin kurríkulu ofisiál Timor-Leste nian, no koopera ho Institutu Nasionál Linguístika (INL) hodi hanorin Tetun uza maneira di’ak liu.

Projetu CAFE (2015-2019)

Eskola CAFE sira forma liuhosi akordu ne’ebé asina iha Dezembru 2014; akordu ne’e iha durasaun tinan haat no hanaruk tan ba tinan ida iha Jullu 2017, signifika katak akordu ne’e sei remata no presiza avalia fila fali iha Dezembru 2019. Iha akordu ne’e, eskola CAFE nafatin hetan rekoñesimentu nudár eskola públiku, gratuita (la selu), ne’ebé hanorin kurríkulu nasionál maibé uza lia Portugés (menus ba Tetun no relijiaun) ne’ebé tenke aumenta klase tinan-tinan to’o inklui sekundária kompletu. Mudansa sira ne’ebé inklui aumenta númeru másimu ba estudante sira iha klase ida to’o 30, no esplika prosesu atu ho neineik, manorin Timoroan ne’ebé formadu ona sei troka fatin ba manorin Portugés sira. Akordu mós obriga atu iha periodu akordu nian, tenke iha “avaliasaun internasionál” ba projetu.

Dezde projetu hahú iha tinan 2010 to’o ohin loron, seidauk iha avaliasaun external. Komisaun bilaterál espesiál CAFE nian, ne’ebé simu responsabilidade atu halo avaliasaun tinan-tinan, só hasoru malu dala ida, iha Outubru 2017, no sira-nia relatóriu seidauk hasai ba públiku. Iha ninia relatóriu ba La’o Hamutuk, Koordenadora Timorense hakerek kona-ba problema no dezafiu sira, ne’ebé ita bele fahe ba kategoria rua: 1) sira ne’ebé kuaze eskola públiku hotu mak hasoru hanesan falta espasu, livru sira no manorin sira ho kapasidade aas, no. 2) sira ne’ebé espesífiku ba projetu hanesan tuirmai ne’e:

  • Kalendáriu ba rekruta manorin Portugés iha konflitu ho kalendáriu eskolár Timor-Leste nian, nune’e tinan-tinan, manorin sira husi Portugal mai tarde , to’o fulan balu hafoin hahú tinan eskolár;

  • Pagamentu sira husi Governu Timor-Leste ba manorin Portugés sai tarde;

  • Susar atu rekruta manorin estájiu Timoroan, no susar hafahe sira ho di’ak no ekitavél ba eskola CAFE 13;

  • Susar atu responde ba família barak ne’ebé hakarak tama eskola ne’e, maibé la iha fatin ona, liu-liu iha pre-eskolár.

Tinan rua liubá, realiza avaliasaun esternal ba projetu Pilotu EMBLI (haree iha kaixa); nia kompara estudante sira husi klase ida no klase rua iha eskola EMBLI, eskola públiku baibain, no eskola CAFE sira iha munisípiu hanesan. Tuir relatóriu ne’e, CAFE nia rezultadu atu forma estudante atubele “lee ho di’ak” molok klase 2 remata mak di’ak liu kompara ho eskola públiku baibain, maibé aat liu kompara ho eskola EMBLI sira (“lee ho di’ak” signifika bele komprende pelumenus 80% bainhira estudante sira hetan ezame sira iha lian ne’ebé sira aprende iha eskola). Relatóriu ne’e hatudu katak 12% (porsentu) husi estudante sira klase 2 nian iha eskola regulár governu nian mak bele lee ho di’ak, 23% husi projetu CAFE no 60% husi projetu EMBLI. Relatóriu ne’e refere ba estudu lubuk ne’ebé hatudu benefísiu ba hanorin labarik ki’ik iha lian ne’ebé sira komprende ho di’ak. Relatóriu mós konsidera fatór kontestuál hanesan família nia ekonomia, estudante sira nia esperiénsia ho pre-eskolár, no orsamentu ne’ebé aas liu hodi esplika rezultadu CAFE nian. Fatór hotu ne’e tenke konsidera bainhira halo avaliasaun CAFE iha futuru. Relatóriu ne’e mós haree projetu CAFE mak lakon bainhira kompara osan ne’ebé Estadu fó no rezultadu aprendizajen ne’ebé hetan husi eskola tipu tolu ne’e.

History of the Project

The CAFE project has gone through three major transformations with three distinct names, but the project has essentially stayed the same since it was first envisioned in 2009. While specifics have changed, the project has always been envisioned as a long-term project, which would grow and expand over time, developing a model for the preschool, primary and secondary education systems in Timor-Leste.

Satellite Schools (Polos) of the Portuguese School in Dili (2010-2012)

In April 2010, a special bilateral agreement was signed to establish 4 ‘Polos’ or satellite district schools (in Maliana, Same, Baucau and Oe-cusse) modeled after the Rui Cinatti School, a private fee-based international school in Dili which follows the curriculum and policies of Portugal. In the 2010 agreement, Timor-Leste was responsible for all expenses related to the construction and rehabilitation of buildings and equipment. These new Portuguese immersion schools often used the best school facilities in the municipal capital, forcing an existing public school to relocate to make space.

The Reference Schools Project (2012-2014)

A year and a half later, in September 2011, a new agreement changed the name of the schools to ‘Reference Schools’ and expanded the project to include establishing one school in each district (now municipality). This agreement cited better student achievement in the previous school years at the Polos to justify the new project, though we could not find any documentary evidence. The agreement refers to urgent needs for teacher training, curriculum development, the “consolidation of the Portuguese language and culture in the territory” and the “provision of quality and dignity to Timor’s educational system” as reasons for the project. The new agreement requires the schools to provide 2 sessions a day for 25 students per class, starting with preschool and continuing through primary and secondary school, dependent on what available temporary infrastructures allow; it also commits the Timor-Leste Ministry of Education to add one grade each year per school until grade 12, which given the reality of space could not realistically happen during the time period of the agreement. It also requires schools to teach the official Timor-Leste curriculum, and cooperate with the National Linguistic Institute (INL) to adopt best practices for teaching Tetum.

The CAFE Project (2015-2019)

The CAFE schools are run under a four-year agreement signed in December 2014. The agreement was extended by one year in July 2017, and it will be re-evaluated in December 2019. As in the Reference Schools agreement, the CAFE Project’s Bilateral Agreement continues to define the program’s schools as free, public schools which must teach the official national curriculum in the Portuguese language (except for Tetum and religion) and add new grades each year until the school runs from pre-school to the end of high school. Changes include increasing the number of students allowed in a classroom to 30 and a requirement for the gradual replacement of Portuguese teachers with trained Timorese teachers. The Agreement also requires that during the time period of the Agreement, an “international evaluation” is carried out.

To date and since the project first started in 2010, there has been no external evaluation. CAFE's special bilateral commission, charged with annual evaluation of the project only met once, in October 2017, and their report was not made public. In her report to La’o Hamutuk, the Timorese Coordinator highlighted constraints and challenges, which can be grouped into two categories, those challenges which most public schools face such as a lack of classrooms, textbooks, and highly qualified teachers, and those challenges specific to the project such as:

  • The calendar for the recruitment of Portuguese teachers not being compatible with the Timorese school calendar, leading to the Portuguese teachers repeatedly arriving months after the official start of the school year;

  • Late payments of supplements and subsidies to the Portuguese teachers;

  • Difficulties recruiting Timorese teachers in training, and in their equitable distribution to the 13 CAFE schools;

  • Difficulties responding to the high demand for the school, particularly in the pre-school.

Two years ago, the external evaluation of the EMBLI (Mother-tongue based Multilingual Education – see box below) Pilot Program was released; it compared first and second grade students in EMBLI schools, regular schools and three of the CAFE schools from the same municipalities. According to this report, CAFE did better than the regular schools but significantly worse than EMBLI schools in producing good readers by Grade 2 (“good reader” meaning at least 80% comprehension where students were tested in the same language in which they were taught). The report found that 12 percent of grade 2 students from the regular public schools had become good readers, 23 percent from the CAFE program and 60 percent from the EMBLI program. It cites other studies which highlight the benefit of teaching young students in a language they understand well, and speculates the better scores at CAFE schools compared to regular schools are due to contextual factors such as higher income of students, increased preschool attendance, and more money put into the schools, factors which should also be considered in any future evaluation of CAFE. The report also finds the CAFE project to be the least cost effective in terms of educational results for State spending, when comparing the three types of schools.

Orsamentu ba projetu CAFE

Ema balu hanoin katak eskola CAFE sira hanesan prezente husi Portugál, maibé realidade mak maioria kustu finansiamentu ba eskola sira ne’e mai husi Governu Timor-Leste. Portugál nia kontribuisaun ba projetu ne’e kuaze totálmente ba manorin Portugeza sira nia saláriu fulan-fulan (maizumenus US$2,000 ba kada manorin kada fulan) no kustu administrativu liga ba rekrutamentu no partisipasaun manorin sira husi Portugál. Manorin portuguesa sira aplika ba projetu, ho insentivu finansiál ne’ebé inklui katak sira la presiza selu taxa ba saláriu tanba hetan status foun nudár “ajente kooperasaun”, no mós hetan subsídiu Suplementáriu husi Governu Timor-Leste.

Husi 2014 to’o 2017, maizumenus tokon $5 husi Orsamentu Jerál Estadu (OJE) ba projetu CAFÉ, liuhosi Ministériu Edukasaun (ME) no Fundu Infrastrutura (FI). Kustu espesífiku sira ne’ebé mai husi OJE Timor-Leste nian no liga ba manorin sira husi Portugál hanesan tuirmai ne’e:

  • Viajen ba-mai kada tinan entre Portugál no Timor-Leste (maizumenus $2,500 ba kada manorin iha tinan 2017);

  • Subsídiu Suplementáriu entre $1,000 no 2,500 fulan ida depende tempu ho projetu no nivel responsabilidade (bele kompara ne’e ho saláriu manorin Timoroan nian ne’ebé kada fulan maizumenus $300);

  • Bonus $1,000 dala ida ba manorin Portugeza foun sira;

  • Uma ka subsídiu ba aluga uma ($600/fulan iha Dili no $500/fulan iha fatin sira seluk);

  • Transportasaun lokál hotu;

  • Apoiu administrativu no tékniku.

Iha parte seluk, Timor-Leste mós sei responsabiliza ba:

  • Kustu konstrusaun, renovasaun, no manutensaun hotu relasiona ho eskola sira no manorin Portugeza sira nia hela fatin;

  • Kustu hotu ne’ebé relasiona ba nesesidade téknika, lojístiku no eskolár, inklui manorin no estudante sira nia material no programa ba merenda eskolár;

  • Saláriu ba sira ne’ebé la’ós manorin, inklui seguransa, servisu hamoos, no kondutór, etc.;

Iha tinan 2018, númeru orsamentu ba CAFE husi Ministériu Edukasaun aumenta no liu tokon $5. Husi tinan 2014 to’o 2017, projetu CAFÉ hetan maizumenus 4.5% ka tokon $4 husi orsamentu ME. Alende orsamentu ME, liu tokon $16 aloka ona ba Fundu Infrastrutura (FI) dezde projetu ne’e hahú. Maski nune’e, menus tokon $4 husi totál ne’e ezekuta ona, maizumenus $550,000 kada tinan. La’o Hamutuk halo estimatizasaun katak Estadu Timor-Leste gasta osan boot liu dala tolu ba estudante CAFE ida-idak kompara ho estudante sira iha nivel eskola hanesan maibé iha eskola públiku sira seluk.

Money matters

While some people think that the CAFE schools are a gift from Portugal, in reality the cost of the schools has been largely covered by the Government of Timor-Leste. Portugal’s financial contribution to the project is almost exclusively limited to the Portuguese teachers’ base salaries (approximately US$2,000 per teacher per month) and administrative costs related to their selection and participation. Interested Portuguese teachers apply to join the project, with financial incentives including tax-free status on their base salary as “agents of cooperation”, and an additional living allowance paid by the Timorese Government.

From 2014 to 2017, an average of $5 million a year from Timor-Leste’s State Budget - through both the Ministry of Education (ME) and Infrastructure Fund (IF) - has been spent on the CAFE project. Costs specifically related to the Portuguese teachers and covered by the Timor-Leste State Budget include:

  • Annual roundtrip flight between Portugal and Timor-Leste (around $2,500 per teacher in 2017);

  • Living allowance supplement of somewhere between $1,000 and 2,500 a month depending on time with the program and level of responsibility (by comparison, an average Timorese primary teacher’s salary is about $300 per month);

  • One-time $1,000 bonus for all new Portuguese teachers;

  • Housing or a housing subsidy ($600/month in Dili and $500/month outside of Dili);

  • All local transportation;

  • Administrative and technical support.

In addition to the above costs, Timor-Leste is also responsible for:

  • All construction, renovation, and maintenance costs related to the schools and Portuguese teacher housing;

  • All costs related to technical, logistical and teaching needs, including teacher and student materials and the school feeding program;

  • Non-teaching staff for the program including security, cleaners, drivers, etc.

2018 saw an increase in the portion of the Ministry’s budget allocated to the CAFE Project. From 2014 to 2017, the CAFE project used an annual average of 4.5% or $4 million dollars from the ME budget. Aside from the ME budget, more than $16 million has been allocated to the Infrastructure Fund (IF) for the project since its start; however less than $4 million of that amount was actually spent, an average of about $550,000 each year. La’o Hamutuk estimates that the State spends more than three times as much per CAFE student as it spends per student in the same grades at a regular public school.

Rekomendasaun sira

  1. Ministériu Edukasaun, Juventude no Desportu (MEJD) tenke organiza avaliasaun independente ho urjénsia ba projetu CAFE. Planu projetu nian ba futuru presiza deside bazeia ba analiza kle’an ba nia kustu no benefísiu, husi aspetu ekonomia, sosiál no edukasaun. Tenke halo investigasaun ho kritiku no onestu atu haree efetivu ka lae maneira hanorin ne’ebé uza. Di’ak liu envolve sosiedade sivíl iha prosesu avaliasaun ne’e, no bele responde ba pergunta sira ne’e:
  • Projetu ne’e atinje objetivu báziku?

  • Iha evidénsia katak modelu aprendizajen ne’e mak pratika di’ak ba Timor-Leste?

  • Estudante sira halo di’ak liu tuir akadémiku iha sira nia disiplina oi-oin?

  • Projetu ne’e modelu ekitavel? Se mak agora daudauk hetan esepsaun?

  • Manorin timoroan sira hetan haforsa no hakbiit ka lae?

Númeru dezempregu ne’ebé as no limitasaun orsamentu iha Ministériu Edukasaun nia laran, ita tenke asegura katak manorin Timoroan hotu iha ona abilidade ne’ebé sustentável.

  1. MEJD tenke implementa ho justu no transparente lotaria ida ba matrikula iha eskola CAFE hotu, hahú agora kedas. Ema barak hanoin katak eskola CAFE sai hanesan eskola privada, ne’ebé ho folin karu no rekere inan-aman tenke ko’alia lian portugés. MEJD tenke asegura katak inan-aman sira hotu simu informasaun klaru iha lian ne’ebé bele komprende kona-ba opsaun ba eskola sira, inklui bainhira simu estudante foun, prosesu tama, no katak eskola CAFE hotu gratuita no loke ba Timoroan hotu lahó diskriminasaun. Eskola sira tenke buka atu inklui família kiak no husi area rurál.

  2. Projetu CAFE presiza prioritiza katak merenda eskolár uza produtu lokál. Tuir posibilidade, programa merenda eskolár iha eskola hotu, inklui eskola CAFE sira, presiza utiliza ai-han ne’ebé prodús no prepara iha area lokál. Iha evidénsia barak katak han ho hahán oioin, ho balansu, lokál, orgániku sei ajuda ita nia labarik sira agora no aban bain rua.

  3. Governu tenke aloka orsamentu nato’on hodi suporta eskola pre-eskolar, ensinu báziku no sekundária hotu. Labarik hotu-hotu bele hetan benefísiu husi partisipasaun iha nivel pre-eskolar, iha limitasaun estudante iha klase ida, iha manorin rua iha salaun ida, edifísiu sira tenke seguru no di’ak, etc. Hodi fó suporta hanesan ba eskola públiku hotu, presiza aumentu maka’as orsamentu, maibé ida-ne’e investimentu boot ba ita hotu nia futuru.

Recommendations

  1. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports should organize an immediate and independent evaluation of the CAFE schools. Any continuation of the CAFE project needs to be informed by a thorough analysis of the actual costs and benefits of the project including economic, social, and educational. An honest and critical examination of the real effectiveness of the language learning model used is needed. The evaluation should involve civil society, and answer the following questions:

  • Is the project meeting its basic goals?

  • Is there evidence that this learning model is best practice for Timor-Leste?

  • Are students doing better academically?

  • Is the project an equitable model? Who is currently being excluded?

  • Are Timorese teachers being strengthened and empowered?

Given Timor-Leste’s high unemployment rate and budget limitations within the Ministry of Education, we must ensure that all non-Timorese teachers are passing on their skills for long-term sustainability.

  1. The Ministry should implement a fair and transparent lottery for entry to all CAFE schools, starting immediately. Many people think that the CAFE schools are private, fee-based and require parents to speak Portuguese. The Ministry needs to ensure that parents receive clear information in various languages about the CAFE schools, including enrollment dates, process of selection, and the fact that they are free of charge and open to all Timorese. The schools should reach out to poor and rural families.

  2. The CAFE project should prioritize nutritious meals with local products. As much as possible, the school feeding program in any school, including CAFE schools, should emphasize locally grown and prepared food. There is much evidence that a varied, balanced, local, organic diet will help our students now and in the future.

  3. The Government should allocate more funding to support all public preschool, primary and secondary schools. All students can benefit from access to preschool, less students per class, more teachers in each classroom, safe and accessible buildings, etc. To give the same support to all public schools that the CAFE project now receives would mean a serious increase in the Education budget, and this investment is needed for the future of us all.

Edukasaun Multi-linguál Bazeia ba Lian Inan (EMBLI)

Projetu Pilotu EMBLI mak implementa dezde 2012 to’o agora iha eskola 10 ne’ebé iha populasaun kuaze hotu ko’alia lian lokál ida: eskola haat iha Oecusse (Baikeno), tolu iha Lospalos (Fataluku) no tolu iha Manatuto (Galolen). Bazeia ba polítika EMBLI ne’ebé sai kontroversiál, projetu ne’e prepara manorin no material sira hodi manorin sira bele hanorin iha lian lokál ne’ebé relevante durante pre-eskolár no klase 1, hafoin Introdús no neineik aumenta Tetun no Portugés. “Lian inan” mak signifika lian ne’ebé ema ko’alia liu iha uma ka komunidade.

Iha tinan 2015 nia rohan, projetu ne’e hetan avaliasaun external hodi sukat ninia susesu ba objetivu edukasaun nian hanesan aumenta taxa literasia no susesu eskolar, inklui iha Tetun no Portugés, Timor-Leste nia lia-ofisiál rua. Relatóriu avaliasaun ne’e konklui katak EMBLI aumenta labarik sira nia kapasidade atu lee no susesu iha dixiplina oioin.

Preokupasaun rua ne’ebé boot liu liga ho EMBLI mak:

  1. Ta’uk katak EMBLI bele sai obstákulu atu ema bele aprende lian ofisiál sira, liuliu Portugés. Tuir estudu akadémiku barak husi rai oioin, labarik sira ne’ebé aprende iha sira-nia lian dahuluk hetan susesu boot liu iha literasia, matemátika no bele fahe ho di’ak sira nia kapasidade ba lian seluk.

  2. Ta’uk katak EMBLI bele kria divizaun no ameasa unidade nasionál. Ema ne’ebé suporta EMBLI responde ba ta’uk ida-ne’e katak EMBLI promove inkluzaun sosiál no toleránsia ba ema seluk.

EMBLI nia futuru seidauk metin, maibé pelumenus iha dadus no avaliasaun hodi hatudu dalan ba Ministériu Edukasaun halo planu di’ak ba futuru.

EMBLI - Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education

The Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (EMBLI in Tetum) pilot project has been implemented from 2012 to present in 10 schools in which 99% of the student population speak the same local language: four schools in Oecusse (Baikeno), three in Lospalos (Fataluku) and three in Manatuto (Galolen). Based on the controversial EMBLI policy, the project prepares teachers and materials to teach in the relevant local language in pre-school and grade 1, after which Tetum and Portuguese are gradually introduced. “Mother tongue” means the language most used in the home or community.

At the end of 2015, an external evaluation of the project measured how successful the project was in meeting its educational goals – improving literacy rates and overall educational success, including in the two official languages: Tetum and Portuguese. This report (summary) found that students in EMBLI schools did better in reading and had more success in various subjects.

Key concerns about the policy are:

  1. Fear that it will undermine the effective learning of the official languages, and particularly Portuguese. In fact, multiple academic studies in various countries have shown that children who learn first in their home language do better in literacy, math and other subjects as they are able to transfer their skills.

  2. Fear that it will create divisions in the country and threaten national unity. Supporters of the policy point out that it promotes social inclusion and tolerance for difference in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural society, thus building unity.

Due to the positive results presented in the 2016 evaluation report, the project continues in 10 schools with continuing monitoring and evaluation on how students are succeeding in higher grades.

 

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
email: 
laohamutuk@gmail.com    Web: http://www.laohamutuk.org    Blog: laohamutuk.blogspot.com