East Timor Children and School

How do children live in East Timor?

In East Timor there is a very high birth rate and, accordingly, a large number of children. Every woman has between seven and eight children in her life. Because many families cannot afford retirement provision, offspring are also a kind of guarantee that they will be looked after in old age.

As a country located in Asia according to remzfamily, East Timor is still a very poor country, although the economic situation is slowly improving. Many children suffer from malnutrition or illness and cannot afford medical help.

In order to support their families, many children are forced to drop out of school very early and go to work. One solution is a new law which was implemented with the help of the World Food Program. This aid program stipulates that every school child comes to school for free. This enabled more children to go back to school.

In East Timor, children play a lot of football, as it is the most popular sport in the country, even though the East Timorese football team is one of the weakest in the world. After all, she has been a member of FIFA, the world football association, since September 12, 2005.

Many young people leave their homes in the country and move to the cities, primarily to Dili, to find work. As a result, the rural population is becoming increasingly obsolete. In order to counteract this problem, the government has to expand job opportunities outside the cities and make life there more attractive again for young people.

Do children go to school in East Timor?

The occupation history of East Timor has contributed significantly to the fact that the area of ​​education in the country still has major deficiencies, i.e. is very poorly developed. While the Portuguese were in control of the country, little was done to educate the people. At that time, out of 100 East Timorese, only about three could read and write. It was not until the Indonesian occupation that more and more elementary schools emerged.

Education only for boys and not for girls

Although education got a little better in the years that followed, at the beginning of the 21st century only about half of the population was able to read and write. And most of them were men, because girls rarely went to school.

When the East Timorese finally gained their independence, the Indonesian occupiers destroyed many schools out of anger, so that for a while almost no child was able to attend school.

Reconstruction of the schools

Today the schools are being rebuilt. East Timor receives support from many countries to further develop their education system. Yet very few children actually graduate. Out of 100 students, just 30 finish ninth grade. The others usually stop going to school after the second grade.

Why do children leave school so early?

Educational researchers justify this high dropout rate mainly with the fact that the lessons are often held in Portuguese. Most children, however, speak Tetum or other languages ​​and do not understand everything the teacher explains to them. Imagine if your teachers didn’t speak your language at all. You would also have difficulty listening to them with concentration.

Many initiatives therefore try to ensure that the children are taught in their mother tongue before they begin to learn foreign languages.

East Timor Children

Eating in East Timor

What do the people of East Timor eat?

Many families in East Timor are self-sufficient. This means that they grow, process and prepare all or most of what they eat and consume themselves. What people do not grow themselves, they buy in one of the many markets in East Timor. These are made up of simple stands on the roadside, behind which traders advertise their goods.

The dishes themselves are usually quite simple and are partly reminiscent of Portuguese or Indonesian cuisine. As in many Southeast Asian countries, rice is used to cook a lot. Corn and cassava are also popular staple foods and grow in many parts of the country. Many people live from fishing by the sea. So a lot of fish is eaten, which is usually grilled.

Everyday Life

How do people live in East Timor?

Most East Timorese lead a simple life in the country. Since poverty is widespread, many people earn just about as much every day as they need to eat and live. The majority of the East Timorese therefore literally live from hand to mouth. This particularly affects the rural population.

Some people who are richer than the average also live in the cities. This creates a so-called urban-rural gap, because the further you are from larger cities like Dili, the less people earn on average.

Despite the widespread poverty, globalization has already reached some villages outside the cities. Every second person has a cell phone, which is now part of everyday life, especially for the younger generation. In some cases, farmers with better earnings can also afford TVs, so that a satellite system is increasingly being used alongside the wooden and straw huts.