Prime Minister speaks of the problems of Education and Employment in International Seminar

Wed. 22 of November of 2017, 17:28h

The Prime Minister, Marí Alkatiri, participated in the "Raising the quality of higher education as a key factor to increase the employability of graduates" international seminar, promoted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The event brought together national and foreign university professors and businessmen, on November 22, at the Ministry of Planning and Finance building in Dili.

The challenges for higher education to respond to labour market needs were discussed, seeking solutions to increase employment opportunities for East Timorese graduates.

In his keynote address, the Prime Minister addressed the importance of training human resources, fundamental to the reform proposed by the Seventh Constitutional Government Program, which, following the objectives of the Strategic Development Plan, places Education as one of the national priorities.

Marí Alkatiri referred to the need to create jobs so as to reduce the current imbalance between the number of students who graduate and the type of jobs they have access to. To this end, the Government "intends to draft and approve a Management and Organization Policy for Higher Education that establishes guidelines on the diversification of the educational offer, compliance with the Minimum Standard and Official Languages curriculum and the principles of public and private higher education financing".

The Prime Minister said that it is also the intention of the Government to strengthen the technical higher education by promoting the improvement of the Polytechnic Institute of Betano and the creation of a Polytechnic Institute for Hospitality and Tourism in Lospalos and an Academy for Fisheries and Marine Studies, in Manatuto. He assured that the Government intends to continue the scholarship program "in areas which are a priority and are strategic for national development, particularly in the CPLP and ASEAN countries".

The Head of Government highlighted the "crucial role of the private sector in national development", stressing that "today, more than ever before, we need to involve private sector in the national strategies adopted in the education sector, in a stimulating and consistent way”.

Marí Alkatiri stressed that "the Seventh Constitutional Government fully assumes Education as a national priority because, after 15 years on the Restoration of National Independence, we are aware that it is the support for the affirmation of the identity of Timor-Leste in the region and in the world, and an inescapable boosting element for national development".

He concluded with a phrase attributed to Derek Bok, former dean of Harvard University (USA): "Those who say that education is expensive do not know the price nations pay for lack of education".