TIMOR-LESTE, October 13, 2018 – The Republic of the Philippines, through the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, through its Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) and Secretariat of State of Vocational Training and Employment (SEFOPE), convened for the bilateral meetings geared towards the betterment of the educational systems of both countries.
The said meetings, held in the capital Dili, aimed to identify and explore possible cooperative activities in the education sector of the two countries, with focus on technical-vocational education and training; and to determine and validate education and development priorities for MoEYS and SSVTE of Timor-Leste and DepEd of the Philippines for its assistances.
During the meeting with the MoEYS on October 1, the Timor-Leste delegation reported the potential areas of cooperation with the Philippines, including management system, teacher discipline, student exchange, and effective teaching of official languages.
Meanwhile, in the meeting with the SEFOPE on October 3, the delegation expressed their hopes for the contribution of the Philippines in developing middle-level skills training; sharing its experiences on technical-vocational budget and expenses; and the process of accreditation of training centers.
DepEd Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo, head of the Philippine delegation, presented and addressed the queries of the Timor-Leste representatives on the Philippine education system.
Mateo also assured the delegation that an inter-agency meeting will be conducted in the Philippines involving the key government agencies in charge of the areas of concerns they raised. These include the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and other agencies.
The Undersecretary likewise conveyed his aspirations for a stronger partnership between the Philippines and Timor-Leste, and noted that the “offshoot of this conversation is that there will be more conversations in the future with the end view of coming up with possible cooperation.”
Joining the undersecretary in the delegation were First Secretary and Consul of the Philippines to Timor-Leste Jason Juvencio Anasarias, DepEd International Cooperation Office (ICO) Director Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros and ICO Officer Farida Bianca Velicaria.
Meanwhile, the Timor-Leste delegation was composed of MoEYS Minister, Her Excellency Dulce de Jesus Soares; Secretary State for Vocational Training and Employment (SSVTE), His Excellency Julião da Silva; Ambassador of Timor-Leste to the Philippines José Gaspar Piedade, and other ministers/deputy ministers, and diplomats.
Mateo graced the 62nd Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Governing Board Meeting, where he served as part of the Governing Board, also held in Dili.