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ERIC Number: EJ852260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0312-5033
East Timor: Building on the Early Years
Nyland, Berenice
Australian Journal of Early Childhood, v29 n4 p50-57 Dec 2004
When the East Timorese voted for Independence in 1999 they at least expected to have infrastructure, such as school buildings, available as they started the task of building a new nation. The post-Independence destruction also meant that unexpected priority decisions about what should be built, or rebuilt, first had to be made. In a country suffering from low literacy rates, high unemployment, trauma, poverty and food shortages, the question of an education system remains very complex. This paper explores the potential of early childhood education in the new nation of East Timor. The discussion of the early years will be framed by some of the debates that have occupied the education conversation in the early days of Independence. The question of language has been strongly debated (Lutz, 1991; Burns, 1999; Kehi, 1999; Hull, 2000) and will be a focus of this discussion. Three questions are examined in the paper: one, the extremely complex issues surrounding choices about the language(s) of education in a country where literacy levels are low and colonial rulers have used language as an overt expression of power; two, the importance of the early years; and three, the question of the role of early education in nation building.
Early Childhood Australia. P.O. Box 7105, Watson, ACT 2602, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6242-1800; Fax: +61-2-6242-1818; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Timor-Leste