19 April 2018

Learning from our past to craft educational policy

Education is often presented as the fundamental hope of the nation. It is the pathway to success, the way to change our lives for the better. La’o Hamutuk believes that education is indeed critical to ensuring a strong future for our nation, finding solutions to the problems we face, and building unity and security. La’o Hamutuk has long advocated for increased funding to the national education sector; spending on education has long been low compared to other countries, and has steadily declined since 2014.

We also realize that it takes more than money to make education strong and effective. Its success also depends on what is taught, how it is taught, good management and accountability, and agreement about the ultimate purposes of education.

Public discussions often compare past systems to the present, offering potential models to follow, at least in part. In general, these comparisons focus on the Portuguese or Indonesian systems, which we’ll explore below. First, let’s examine more closely the literacy and education campaigns of Fretilin in 1974 and 1975.

1974-1975 Literacy campaigns

These literacy campaigns, led by Vicente ‘Sahe’ Reis and Mau Lear, were non-formal, but the first Timorese-led model for national education. Even though Indonesia’s invasion prevented the development of a formal national education system, it is still helpful to examine the purpose and methods of these early campaigns, and to imagine together what they might have led to.

Fretilin’s literacy and education campaigns were for students of all ages and drew inspiration from African anti-colonial writer Amilcar Cabral and Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. Amilcar Cabral encouraged those lucky few who had been educated under colonialism to use their privileges to serve the people, rather than using them to continue a system of domination.[1] Paulo Freire, in his famous book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, describes schools where teachers are viewed as the holders of all knowledge and students are meant to listen, copy, memorize and repeat what the teacher says. Freire names this as the oppressive "banking model" where students are like empty vessels which the teacher fills. This model serves to maintain a present order, imposing the values and culture of the dominant class in order to pacify, control, and dominate.

In contrast to the "banking model", Freire described another model where students are active participants in the learning process , as agents of their learning and as full human beings who bring with them their own experiences, knowledge and emotions. Whereas the banking model keeps students in their socio-economic place, the new model liberates by helping people to become critical, creative, active and responsible members of society.

The Fretilin literacy manual of 1974-1975
Fretilin’s literacy campaign was an “integral part of Fretilin’s political program during the campaign for independence”.[2] It had multiple goals including:
  • empowering all Timorese by teaching them to read and write
  • decolonizing people’s thinking so that everyone could be actively involved in democratic self-governance
  • building national unity. The vision was of a literate, politically aware and engaged population, ready to work together with respect and discipline for a better future.
In practice, Fretilin allowed any local language to be used to teach literacy, but gave Tetum a special status because more than half of Timorese at the time spoke Tetum, making it the closest thing to a lingua franca. Portuguese, in contrast, was spoken by a very small percent of the population. A basic literacy manual was developed in Tetum, and used in a highly coordinated grassroots literacy campaign, which was tragically cut short by the Indonesian invasion and occupation, though due to extraordinary efforts it continued for several years in the mountains.

The methodology for teaching literacy in 1974-75 focused on
  1. identifying the relation between letters and sounds (decoding)
  2. making meaning from the combination of letters
  3. linking that meaning to oneself and the surrounding environment and its political reality.
The simple method empowered people not only to read words, but to express their personal reality, analyze the colonial system, and aspire to and take action toward a more just future. Though Fretilin’s constitution of the time designated Portuguese as the official language, they chose Tetum and allowed for local languages to be used for the literacy and education campaigns because the goal focused on meaningful discourse and problem-solving.

Education under Salazar's Portugal

During most of colonial Portuguese presence here, only children of Europeans (mestiços and assimilados) were given access to formal education; later, sons of liurai were added to this elite group. Only in the 1940s, under an agreement between the Salazar regime and the Catholic Church, were more Timorese given the chance to study at “rudimentary schools” whose main tasks were “civilizing” and “acculturating Timorese elites to Portuguese culture.”[3] The purpose of schools being to control and keep people in their place, methods of instruction were therefore highly authoritarian and followed the "banking model". Only about 10% of the Timorese population ever went to school under the Portuguese colonial system, and Portuguese was the only language permitted. Tetum and other local languages were strictly banned from schools and teachers focused on Portuguese or European culture, philosophy, science, geography and literacy. School discipline was militaristic and corporal punishment was routine. Teachers’ presentations mirrored the Portuguese colonial perspective, with little respect for Timorese traditions, geography or culture.

These characteristics of the colonial Portuguese education system were the logical result of the fascist Salazar government which also suppressed self-expression and critical thinking in continental Portugal. Sahe and Mau Lear rejected the discrimination and elitism of the colonial school system and sought an egalitarian, liberation-based model for the people of Timor-Leste.

Some people today romanticize the old colonial schools, saying they were models of discipline, knowledge and learning, where students successfully learned many important facts and skills, including how to read, write, speak and even struggle for national liberation using the Portuguese language. Although there is no doubt that key independence leaders learned many things at these schools, what they learned about liberation, democracy and self-determination came primarily from their own experience, wisdom and searching, inspired by student group discussions in Portugal, where many of them studied, and the popular education movements occurring within Portugal’s colonies in Africa.

Education during the Indonesian occupation

While schooling under Indonesia used many of the same authoritarian, violent discipline methods, it followed a radically different model with a different purpose. The purpose of education under Indonesia was primarily to convince Timorese that they were Indonesians. Whereas Portugal’s colonial policy had been to teach only a small elite, Indonesia built new schools across the country to be able to implement a policy of mass indoctrination.

Like Portugal, Indonesia also denied the inclusion of Timorese culture, history, geography and language in schools; their goal was to impose an Indonesian identity. The slogan “Bahasa menunjukan bangsa” or “Language as the identity of the nation” shows how important language was viewed in the process of nation-building. Top academic students here were identified and sent off to study in Jakarta or elsewhere in order to serve the political structure in place.

Some people also like to romanticize Indonesian schools, viewing them as a model for quickly and effectively teaching a language which most people in the society didn’t know. Some admire the successful transmission of Indonesian nationalist propaganda via schools, while others argue that even though the colonial messages of these older systems were not good, we can learn from the methods which instilled nationalist ideology and good discipline in students. The argument seems to accept non-democratic, authoritarian and even violent methods as acceptable means to produce disciplined, patriotic members of society.

Sahe and Mau Lear knew that the method of instruction is as important as the content. Respect and discipline were key values taught in these literacy and education campaigns: respect for each person’s experience and perspective, respect for the needs of the group. Discipline was presented as taking personal responsibility, working hard, and following the principles of democracy not because someone is holding a stick over you, but because you understand this is what is best for the common good.

Current goals for education

Today, we must carefully debate and consider the purpose of education in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. At different levels of schooling, the purpose will be different. We’ll focus here on the preschool and primary school curriculum, as there is current debate around this, and it represents the foundation for all higher levels of schooling.

The Constitution mandates the state to provide free, compulsory primary schooling for all Timorese, however, it does not specify the purpose of this schooling. Schools must give all children the power that comes from literacy, and be allowed to express themselves. We must build communities of learners within schools, set up democratic processes of inquiry and investigation, and teach critical thinking, self-reliance, practical application of skills learned to build on what we know and deepen and broaden our thinking and analysis.

Language policy in education

In terms of language policy, the goal has been decided in the Constitution: Article 13 reads: “1. Tetum and Portuguese are the official languages of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.  2. Tetum and other national languages will be valued and developed by the State.”  The goal in primary school should be to build a strong base for students to understand both languages. The message of the colonizers was always that Tetum and other local languages were backward and uncivilized. Still today, many parrot this message that Tetum is not advanced like Portuguese and will only hold students back.

In fact, Tetum is currently being used to teach and work in technical subjects including physics and geology up to university level. The National Institute of Linguistics has designated clear methods to adapt any word from Portuguese into Tetum, making it natural and easy to borrow modern technical terms while continuing to make use of a grammar and usage familiar to students. Every language can be used to describe the observations and ideas of its speakers. There is no way to scientifically or linguistically measure the “modern-ness” or “backwardness” of a language.

Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o, in his book Decolonizing the Mind, describes the language of the colonizer as a “cultural bomb” – a tool for imperialism – but also as a powerful weapon of resistance for colonized peoples. “The effect of the cultural bomb is to annihilate a people’s belief in their names, in their languages, in their environments, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves.” [4]

Thiong’o writes that the purpose of modern education should be to decolonize the minds of people, and a starting place for this is the restoration of the relationship between mental development and the environment of the home and local community.  The goal of modern schooling in democratic nations should be to serve everyone, to ensure every child achieves a basic level of success in school, not only a small elite, and to build skills for democratic participation, not cowering obedience. Language then, including a former colonial language, can be used to empower.

First grade reader, National Curriculum 2015

Crafting good policy now and for the future

The primary curriculum rolled out in 2015 uses Tetum as the first language of literacy, allowing for other local languages to be used orally for students who do not understand either Tetum or Portuguese. Just as in the 1974-75 literacy campaigns under Fretilin, students are taught the relationship between letters and sounds, the process of decoding, and from there, they consider meaning and the connection to their lives and needs. According to the 2015 Census:
  • 30% of children aged 5-9 have Tetum Prasa as their first language
  • 0.08% of them have Portuguese as their first language.
  • 80% of all people in Timor-Leste have Tetum Prasa as a first, second or third language
  • 5.4% have Portuguese as a first, second or third language.
Using Tetum means that more students are successful, that their parents can be involved, that they can express themselves well. Starting with Tetum also ensures that more children will have the language base they need to successfully learn Portuguese well.[5]

Democratic, non-violent models of discipline in schools exist and are in action now in many schools, thanks to initiatives like the Child Friendly Schools Initiative and the 2015 curriculum. When students are involved in making classroom rules, they tend to take responsibility to uphold them. When classroom activities are interesting and varied, discipline problems tend to be fewer. When the punishment or consequences of "bad" behavior are restorative and meaningful, they are more likely to teach valuable lessons, as opposed to building resentment and increasing drop-out rates.

Our schools can be both democratic and disciplined; they can empower individuals to meet their potential, while also teaching each child to work effectively in a group and to value collective goals and work. The current purpose of schools remains similar to that of Sahe and Mau Lear: liberation from ideas and practices that oppress and discriminate, safeguarding against further exploitation, and empowerment through building skills in communication, critical thinking, and collective action. Today, our goals must also include building strong language skills for a multilingual society, laying a foundation for effective research, analysis, innovation, development and the ability to put theory into practice; to apply one’s knowledge to solve real-life problems.

Aprende husi pasadu hodi konstrui polítika edukasaun

Edukasaun mak esperansa fundamentál ba nasaun, dalan ba susesu, maneira ne’ebé ita bele hadi’a ita-nia moris. La’o Hamutuk fiar katak edukasaun mak buat importante duni hodi asegura futuru di’ak ba nasaun, hodi hetan solusaun ba problema sira-ne’ebé ita enfrenta, no hodi harii unidade no seguransa.

Kleur ona La’o Hamutuk halo advokasia atu aumenta orsamentu ba sektór edukasaun nasionál; realidade mak orsamentu ba edukasaun kleur ki’ik bainhira kompara ho nasaun sira seluk, no nia tun tinan ba tinan dezde 2014. Ami mós hatene katak aumenta osan de’it la bele halo sektór edukasaun forte no efetivu. Edukasaun nia susesu depende mós ba saida mak hanorin, oinsá hanorin, jestaun di’ak, akontabilidade no konkordánsia kona-ba edukasaun nia objetivu prinsipál.

Bainhira mosu duni diskusaun públiku, dala barak ema temi sistema iha Timor-Leste nia istória hodi halo komparasaun ba situasaun agora, no karik hanesan modelu atu tuir, ka tuir parte balu. Baibain komparasaun sira-ne’e foka ba sistema sira iha tempu Portugál ka Indonézia, ne’ebé ami sei klarifika iha kraik ne’e. Maibé molok haree buat ne’e, mai ita haree didi’ak kampaña literasia (alfabetização ka prosesu ensinu-aprendizajen ba lee no hakerek) no edukasaun Fretilin nian iha tinan 1974 no 1975.

Kampaña literasia 1974-1975 nian

Kampaña sira-ne’e, ne’ebé lidera husi Vicente ‘Sahe’ Reis no Mau Lear, la’ós edukasaun formál, maibé nu’udar dahuluk Timoroan harii modelu ida ba edukasaun nasionál. Maski invazaun husi Indonézia prevene sira atu bele dezenvolve sistema ne’e to’o nivel formál nasionál, maibé interesante nafatin analiza sira-nia métodu no objetivu husi kampaña uluk sira-ne’e, no imajina hamutuk buat ne’ebé karik sira bele dezenvolve, karik invazaun la mosu.

Fretilin nia kampaña literasia no edukasaun hato’o ba estudante ho kualkér idade no foti inspirasaun husi buat ne’ebé autór anti-koloniál mak hakerek, inklui Amilcar Cabral husi Guinea-Bissau no Kabuverde no Paulo Freire husi Brazil. Amilcar Cabral enkoraja sira-ne’ebé sorte atu hetan edukasaun liuhosi sistema koloniál tenke uza sira-nia priviléjiu sira atu serve povu, envezde uza priviléjiu sira atu kontinua sistema dominasaun.[1]  Paulo Freire, iha ninia livru Pedagogia do Oprimido, deskreve eskola iha ne’ebé ema haree manorin (profesór) sira nu’udar ema ne’ebé hatene hotu no estudante nia knaar atu rona, kopia, dekor no repete de’it buat ne’ebé manorin sira hato’o. Freire fó naran ba sistema hanesan ne’e ‘modelu banku’, tanba estudante sira hanesan kaixa mamuk ne’ebé manorin tenke enxe to’o nakonu. Modelu ne’e serve atu mantén orden atuál, hodi impoin valór no kultura husi sosiedade nia klase dominante atu pasifika, kontrola no domina ema seluk.

Freire foti modelu ida seluk husi modelu banku ne’e, modelu ida-ne’ebé haree estudante sira mak partisipante ativu iha prosesu aprendizajen, ajente ba sira-nia aprendizajen rasik, ne’ebé lori sira-nia esperiénsia, matenek no emosaun rasik. ‘Modelu banku’ ne’e buka de’it atu hametin estudante iha ninia fatin sosio-ekonómiku, maibé modelu foun ne’e liberta ema liuhosi ajuda sira sai membru sosiedade sira-ne’ebé kriativu, ativu, krítiku no responsavel.

Kampaña literasia Fretilin nian mak “parte integrál hosi Fretilin nia programa polítiku durante kampaña ba ukun rasik-an.”[2] iha objetivu oioin, inklui:
  • hakbiit Timoroan hotu-hotu liuhosi alfabetizasaun, hakerek no lee;
  • dekolonializa ema-nia hanoin hodi ema hotu-hotu bele envolve ativamente iha ukun rasik-an demokrátiku; no
  • harii unidade nasionál. Sira-nia vizaun katak Timoroan hotu-hotu bele lee no hakerek, iha konxiénsia ba polítika, hola parte iha prosesu governu, no prontu atu serbisu hamutuk ho respeitu no dixiplina ba futuru ida-ne’ebé di’ak liu.

Iha prátika, Fretilin fó lisensa atu uza lian lokál naran, maibé tau tetun iha pozisaun espesiál tanba tempu ne’e maioria Timoroan ko’alia tetun, nune’e tetun sai hanesan língua franca. Momentu ne’e, parte ki’ik husi Timoroan sira mak ko’alia lia-portugés. Manuál literasia ne’ebé sira dezenvolve iha tetun uza kampaña literasia populár ne’ebé koordena di’ak, maski tenke para bainhira Indonézia tama no okupa Timor-Leste. Liu hosi esforsu estraordináriu, kampaña ne’e kontinua nafatin durante tinan balu iha ai-laran.

Metodolojia ne’ebé Fretilin uza iha 1974-75 hodi hanorin lee no hakerek mak foka liu ba
  1. identifika relasaun entre soletra no lian (deskodifika)
  2. kria signifikadu husi kahur letra sira
  3. halo ligasaun entre signifikadu ne’e no ema nia an rasik no meiu ambiente iha ne’ebé nia hela ba, hamutuk ho ninia realidade polítika.
Métodu simples ida-ne’e fó kbiit ba ema la’ós atu bele lee liafuan de’it, maibé atu mós espresa sira-nia realidade rasik, no analiza sistema koloniál, no mós fó inspirasaun atu bele halo asaun ba futuru ne’ebé justu liu. Maski Fretilin nia konstituisaun iha tempu ne’ebá identifika portugés hanesan lian ofisiál, sira hili tetun, no mós uza lian lokál seluk iha kampaña literasia no edukasaun, tanba sira-nia objetivu foka liu ba diskusaun analítiku ho malu no rezolve problema.

Edukasaun iha Salazar nia okos

Durante kuaze tempu koloniál portugés tomak, só oan sira husi ema europeu (mestiços no assimilados) mak hetan asesu ba edukasaun formál; tempu ruma, oan-mane sira husi liurai mak hetan mós inklui iha grupu elite ne’e. Só iha dékada 1940, liuhosi akordu entre rejime Salazar no igreja katólika, Timoroan balu seluk mak hetan oportunidade atu estuda iha “ensinu rudimentár” ne’ebé iha objetivu atu “siviliza” no “hatoman elite Timoroan sira ba kultura portugés.”[3]  Hanesan objetivu báziku ba edukasaun mak atu forma grupu elite ki’ik ne’ebé sei serbisu ba rejime koloniál no asegura kontinuasaun ba Portugál nia domíniu, entaun métodu instrusaun sempre autoritáriu, no tuir ‘modelu banku’ nian. Só 10% de’it husi Timoroan hetan edukasaun iha sistema koloniál portugés nian, no lian portugés mak língua ida-de’it ne’ebé ema permite. Eskola bandu tetun no lian sira seluk, no manorin sira fó valór boot liu ba buat ne’ebé mai husi Portugál no Europa - kultura, filozofia, siénsia, jeografia no literasia. Dixiplina iha eskola tuir modelu militár nian no manorin sira halo violénsia beibeik ba estudante sira. Konteúdu mak kuaze hotu hato’o husi perspetiva koloniál Portugál nian, ne’ebé ladún fó respeitu ba Timoroan nia tradisaun, jeografia ka kultura.

Karakterístika sira-ne’e husi sistema edukasaun koloniál portugés nian mak rezultadu lójiku husi governu faxista Salazar nian: auto-espresaun no hanoin krítiku mós halakon iha Portugál rasik. Sahe no Mau Lear rejeita diskriminasaun no ideia elitizmu hosi sistema edukasaun koloniál, no buka atu harii modelu ida bazeia ba egalitarianizmu no libertasaun ba ema Timoroan.

Ema balu ohin ‘romantiza’[4] eskola koloniál uluk nian, dehan katak eskola sira-ne’e mak modelu ba dixiplina di’ak, matenek no aprendizajen, iha-ne’ebé estudante sira bele aprende ho susesu faktu no abilidade barak ne’ebé importante, inklui lee, hakerek, ko’alia, no mós dala ruma oinsá luta ba libertasaun nasionál hodi uza lia-portugés. Maski la iha duvida katak membru balu husi Timor-Leste nia lideransa ba independénsia aprende buat lubuk ida iha eskola sira-ne’e, maibé buat ne’ebé sira aprende kona-ba libertasaun, demokrasia no ukun rasik-an mai husi sira-nia esperiénsia rasik, sira-nia matenek no sira nia peskiza rasik, ne’ebé mai hosi grupu diskusaun estudantíl sira iha Portugál, iha-ne’ebé sira barak mak estuda, no hosi movimentu edukasaun populár sira-ne’ebé akontese iha kolónia portugés sira iha Áfrika.

Edukasaun durante okupasaun indonézia nian

Maski edukasaun iha tempu Indonézia uza nafatin métodu balu ne’ebé violentu no autoritáriu, ninia modelu mak diferente liu ho objetivu mós diferente. Objetivu dahuluk ba edukasaun iha tempu Indonézia mak konvense Timoroan sira katak sira mak ema Indonézia. Polítika koloniál portugés nian mak atu hanorin ba grupu elite ki’ikoan de’it, maibé polítika Indonézia nian mak atu harii eskola iha territóriu tomak atu implementa polítika doutrinasaun ba ema hotu.

Hanesan Portugál, Indonézia mós la hanorin Timor-Leste nia kultura, istória, jeografia no lian iha eskola; sira-nia objetivu mak impoin identidade nu’udar ema indonézia. Sira-nia slogan “Bahasa menunjukan bangsa”, signifika “Lian nu’udar nasaun nia identidade” hatudu katak sira haree lian hanesan importante tebes iha prosesu harii no hametin sira-nia nasaun. Sira identifika estudante sira ho dezempeñu akadémiku di’ak liu no haruka sira atu estuda iha Jakarta ka fatin seluk hodi serve estrutura polítika ne’ebé iha.

Ema balu mós gosta halo romantizasaun ba eskola Indonézia, dehan sira mak modelu di’ak ba oinsá hanorin lian estranjeira ida-ne’ebé maioria ema la hatene. Dala ruma ema mós gaba Indonézia nia abilidade habelar propaganda nasionalístiku liuhosi eskola sira. Ema balu mós dehan katak maski mensajen sira iha sistema tuan ne’e ladi’ak, ita bele aprende husi métodu sira-ne’ebé harii nasionalízmu no dixiplina di’ak iha estudante sira. Argumentu ida-ne’e parese simu de’it métodu sira anti-demokrátiku, autoritáriu no dala ruma violentu nu’udar maneira aseitavel atu bele prodús membru sosiedade sira-ne’ebé dixiplinadu no patriótiku.

Vicente Sahe no Mau Lear komprende didi’ak katak métodu hanorin mak iha importánsia hanesan ho konteúdu ne’ebé hato’o. Respeitu no dixiplina mak valór xave sira-ne’ebé Fretilin hanorin durante kampaña sira-ne’e: respeitu ba ema ida-ida nia esperiénsia no perspetiva, no mós respeitu ba grupu tomak nia presiza. Dixiplina aprezenta nu’udar foti responsabilidade rasik, halo serbisu maka’as no tuir prinsípiu demokrátiku sira, la’ós tanba ema ameasa ho ai-sanak, maibé tanba komprende katak ne’e mak di’ak liu ba grupu tomak.

Objetivu atuál sira ba edukasaun

Ohin loron ita tenke haksesuk-malu didi’ak no konsidera ho kuidadu objetivu ba edukasaun iha RDTL. Iha nivel ida-idak eskola nian, sei iha objetivu la hanesan. Iha ne’e ita sei foka liu ba kurríkulu ba eskola pre-eskolár no Ensinu Báziku, tanba agora daudaun iha debate kona-ba área ne’e, no nivel ne’e mós reprezenta fundasaun ida ba nivel hotu ba leten.

Konstituisaun RDTL haruka katak estadu tenke oferese eskola ne’ebé gratis no mandatóriu ba Timoroan hotu-hotu, maibé nia la define eskola nia objetivu. Eskola sira tenke fó labarik hotu-hotu kbiit ne’ebé mai hosi literasia, no permite sira sai livre atu espresa sira-nia an. Ita tenke harii komunidade estudante sira-nian iha eskola laran, harii prosesu inkéritu no investigasaun sira-ne’ebé demokrátiku, no hanorin hanoin krítiku, oinsá depende ba an, oinsá aplika abilidade ne’ebé aprende tiha ona atu bele aumenta buat ne’ebé ita hatene no halo kle’an liután no luan liután ita-nia prosesu hanoin no análize.

Polítika lian iha edukasaun

Kona-ba polítika língua, objetivu deside ona iha Konstituisaun Artigu 13 hatete nune’e:
   “1. Tetun no portugés mak lian ofisiál ba RDTL.
     2. Tetun no lian nasionál selu-seluk tan sei simu valór no hetan dezenvolvimentu husi Estadu.”
Objetivu iha Ensinu Báziku tenke harii baze forte ba estudante sira atu bele komprende lian rua hotu. Mensajen husi kolonializadór sempre katak tetun no lian nasionál sira seluk mak atrazadu no la sivilizadu. Ohin nafatin, ema barak repete arbiru mensajen ne’e, katak tetun la avansadu hanesan portugés no bele impede estudante sira-nia aprendizajen.

Realidade mak lia-tetun uza daudaun hodi hanorin no serbisu mós iha dixiplina tékniku, inklui fízika no jeolojia to’o nivel universidade. Institutu Nasionál Linguístika elabora ona métodu klaru atubele adapta naran liafuan husi portugés ba tetun, ne’ebé fó dalan fasil no naturál atubele empresta naran termu modernu no tékniku no aproveita nafatin gramátika no estrutura ne’ebé koñesidu ba estudante sira. Bele utiliza lian sira hotu atu deskreve observasaun no ideia husi ema ne’ebé ko’alia lian sira-ne’e. La eziste medida sientífika ka linguístika ne’ebé bele sura se lian ida mak ‘atrazadu’ ka ‘modernu’.

Autór Afrikanu Ngugi wa Thiong’o iha ninia livru Decolonizing the Mind (Deskolonializa ita-nia Kakutak), deskreve lian kolonializadór nian hanesan ‘bomba kulturál’ – imperializmu nia ferramenta – no mós arma poderozu ida ba rezisténsia ba povu ne’ebé hetan kolonializasaun. “Efeitu husi bomba kulturál mak estraga mohu povu sira-nia konfiansa iha sira-nia naran rasik, sira-nia lian rasik, sira-nia ambiente rasik, sira-nia liman-rohan luta nian, sira-nia unidade, sira-nia kapasidade, no ikusliu sira-nia an rasik.”[5]

Thiong’o hakerek katak objetivu husi edukasaun modernu tenke deskolonializa ema nia kakutak, no fatin di’ak atu hahú mak restaurasaun ba relasaun entre dezenvolvimentu kakutak no meiu-ambiente iha uma no komunidade lokál. Meta prinsipál ba edukasaun modernu iha nasaun demokrátiku ida tenkesér atu serve ema hotu-hotu, atu asegura katak labarik ida-idak bele atinje susesu báziku iha eskola, la’ós grupu elite ki’ikoan de’it, no mós atu harii abilidade oioin ba partisipasaun demokrátika, la’ós ema ne’ebé prontu atu tuir de’it hanesan bibi-malae. Nune’e, bele uza lian, inklui mós lian husi nasaun koloniál ne’ebé uluk kontrola povu ida, atu fó kbiit ba ema.

Kurríkulu 2015 nian ba Siklu da-1 no 2 hosi Ensinu Báziku iha Timor-Leste uza lia-tetun nu’udar lian dahuluk ba literasia, no mós permite atu uza lian lokál sira seluk, ho oral de’it, bainhira estudante sira la komprende tetun ka portugés. Hanesan Fretilin nia kampaña literasia iha 1974-75, estudante sira aprende relasaun entre letra no lian (dekodifikasaun), no depois sira konsidera liafuan sira-nia signifikadu no ligasaun ho sira-nia moris no presiza. Tuir Sensu 2015:
  • 30% hosi labarik sira ho idade 5-9 ko’alia tetun prasa nu’udar lian dahuluk;
  • 0,08% (menus 1/10 hosi 1%) hosi sira ko’alia portugés nu’udar lian dahuluk;
  • 80% hosi ema ne’ebé hela iha Timor-Leste mak ko’alia tetun prasa nu’udar lian dahuluk, daruak ka datoluk
  • 5.4% ko’alia lia-portugés nu’udar lian dahuluk, daruak ka datoluk.
Uza tetun signifika katak estudante barak liu sei hetan susesu, no mós katak sira-nia inan-aman bele mós envolve iha sira-nia edukasaun, katak sira bele espresa an ho di’ak. Hahú ho tetun mós asegura katak labarik barak liu sei iha baze linguístiku ne’ebé sira presiza atu aprende fali portugés ho di’ak.[6]

Modelu ba dixiplina demokrátiku no anti-violénsia iha eskola eziste, no uza daudaun iha eskola barak, tanba inisiativu sira hanesan Eskola sira Amigaveis ba Labarik (Eskola Foun) no Kurríkulu 2015 nian. Bainhira estudante sira envolve rasik iha prosesu halo regra ba sira-nia sala aula nian, sira baibain foti duni responsabilidade atu halo tuir regra sira-ne’e. Bainhira atividade sala aula nian mak interesante no oioin, problema dixiplina baibain menus. Bainhira konsekuénsia ka kastigu ba hahalok ladi’ak mak koko atu resolve no responde ho razaun ba hahalok refere, nune’e bele hanorin lisaun importante, la’ós estraga relasaun entre estudante no manorin, ka aumenta labarik ne’ebé husik eskola.

Ita-nia eskola sira bele sai demokrátika no mós dixiplinadu. Sira bele fó kbiit ba labarik ida-idak atu atinje sira-nia posibilidade, no iha tempu hanesan hanorin labarik ida-idak atu serbisu iha grupu laran no fó valór ba meta no serbisu koletivu. Objetivu atuál ba eskola nafatin hanesan Sahe no Mau Lear nian: libertasaun husi ideia no prátika ne’ebé halo opresaun no diskriminasaun, asegura katak esplorasaun la mosu fali, no harii kbiit liuhosi aumenta abilidade iha komunikasaun, hanoin krítiku no asaun koletivu. Ohin ita-nia objetivu tenke mós inklui dezenvolve abilidade linguístiku ba sosiedade ho lian oioin, hodi harii fundasaun metin ba peskiza ne’ebé efetivu, análise, inovasaun, dezenvolvimentu no abilidade atu halo teoria sai fali prátika, katak atu aplika ema nia matenek hodi rezolve dezafiu ne’ebé mosu duni iha ita-nia moris loroloron.