[TimorLesteStudies] New book chapter on education in Timor-Leste

Bob Boughton bob.boughton at une.edu.au
Wed May 15 18:03:46 EST 2013

Boughton, B. (2013). Timor-Leste: Education, decolonisation and 
development. In L. Symaco (Ed.), Education in South East Asia (pp. 
299-321). London: Continuum.

In May 2002, Timor-Leste became the first country in the world to 
achieve its independence in the 21st Century, ending over four 
hundred years of colonial rule which had begun with the arrival of 
the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. In 1974-5, a revolution in 
Portugal prompted a short-lived attempt by FRETILIN, the political 
party which founded the Timor-Leste independence movement,  to 
decolonise the education system, but this was aborted by the military 
invasion and occupation of the country by its largest neighbour, the 
Republic of Indonesia in December 1975. Independence was finally won 
only after a protracted war of national liberation forced the 
eventual withdrawal of the Indonesians in September 1999, and a 
period of direct rule of the United Nations until 2002 (Cabral 2002). 
For ten years, now, this tiny country of one million people, 
occupying  the eastern half of a rugged island six hundred kilometres 
north of Australia, has struggled to build its first fully-developed 
independent education system, out of the ruins left by colonialism 
and war. However, unlike many other ex-colonies which achieved 
independence in the second half of the last century, the newly 
emerging education system in Timor-Leste has been the site of a major 
multinational aid and reconstruction effort, initially coordinated by 
the United Nations and the World Bank. Its recent history therefore 
provides an object lesson in the role of international actors in 
educational development in countries of the Global South.
Dr. Bob Boughton
Associate Professor, Adult Education & Training
School of Education
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2351, Australia

phone:	+61 2 67732913/66492642
email: bob.boughton at une.edu.au

The UNE Branch of the NTEU is engaged in industrial action commencing 
4th March 2013. In solidarity with this action, I am not working 
(unpaid) overtime, and I can allocate no more than 20% of my time to 
administration. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience this may 

For more information, please go to 

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