Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and UNICEF team up to enhance teaching and learning for children with vision impairment in Timor-Leste

27 June 2022
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and UNICEF team up to enhance teaching and learning for children with vision impairment in Timor-Leste
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2022/Bbenevides

Dili, 27 June 2022 – The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) handed over a range of equipment and materials to the Asosiasaun Halibur Defisiensia Matan (Association for People with Sight Disabilities) Timor-Leste today. The equipment and materials were handed over by Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Hon. Dr. Armindo Maia and UNICEF Country Representative, Bilal Durrani to Interim Director of Asosiasaun Halibur Difisiénsia Matan Timor-Leste (AHDMTL), Sr. Gabriel Ponciano de Sousa, at the AHDMTL office in Manleuana, Dili. The ceremony was also attended by Mrs. Elvina Sousa de Carvalho, Member of Parliament and Member of Commission B of Parliament for Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security. 

The equipment and materials handed over included braille printers and typewriters, digital talkbook players, abacus, talk calculators, talking wall clocks, counting boards, laptops and software to enhance teaching and learning for children with vision impairments in Timor-Leste.

“People with disabilities have as much potential as anyone else, and this has been proven by AHDML and its members in several instances. We are thankful to UNICEF for helping expand options for people with disabilities in Timor-Leste, through the donation of this equipment and trainings,” said Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Hon. Dr. Armindo Maia. “All people have the same rights in Timor-Leste. The National Parliament and government and others have committed to provide support to people with disabilities, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is advocating for an increase in state funding to provide more support and reach more people with services.”

All children, including children with disabilities, have the same rights, including the right to education as enshrined in the Constitution of Timor-Leste as well as the various international instruments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Child and UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). However, children with disabilities face many challenges. These include stigma, poor access to quality education, insufficient specialized teachers as well as absence of adequate data on children with disabilities in Timor-Leste.  In addition, schools across the country are not equipped to support learning for children with disabilities.

“I would like to take this opportunity to call for increased efforts to ensure inclusive education for children and people with disabilities. Every child deserves every opportunity to survive, learn, and thrive,” said Bilal Durrani, Country Representative of UNICEF in Timor-Leste. “UNICEF calls upon the Government and Parliament of Timor-Leste to expedite the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the passage of related laws, and to involve persons with disabilities in consultations and decision-making process.” 

UNICEF has been working closely with relevant line ministries to improve the provision of services for children with disabilities in the country. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, UNICEF have also established partnerships with Organizations of Persons with Disabilities such as the AHMDTL and ALMA Sisters to provide specialized support for teaching children with disabilities.    UNICEF has also trained the AHDMTL teachers on how to teach children with visual impairments on basic literacy and numeracy using braille and supportive technology, renovated the boys’ dormitory, toilets and water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and the temporary learning space in the AHDMTL center. 

In 2021, to help expand access to education and information, UNICEF supported AHDMTL to conduct an assessment on the needs of children with visual impairment in the three municipalities of Bobonaro, Ermera and Liquica. The data from the assessment will be used for planning further interventions to support the learning needs of children, introduction of learning aids and eventual expansion of services across all schools and learning institutions in the country. 

UNICEF also worked with the Secretary of State for Social Communications, AHDMTL and the Disability Association of Timor-Leste since 2020 to develop a range of material in braille and sign language on prevention of COVID-19, information on COVID-19 vaccines, as well as more recently, on birth registration.

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Ministériu Edukasaun, Juventude no Desportu ho UNICEF servisu hamutuk hadi’ak ensinu no aprendizajen ba labarik sira ho defisíensia matan iha Timor-Leste 

Dili, 27 Juñu 2022 – Ministériu Edukasaun, Juventude no Desportu ho Nasoins Unidas Fundus ba Labarik (UNICEF) entrega ekipamentu no material balun ohin loron ba Asosiasaun Halibur Defisíensia Matan Timor-Leste. Ekipamentu no material sira mak entrega ona husi Ministru Edukasaun, Juventude no Desportu, Dr. Armindo Maia no Reprezentante País UNICEF iha Timor-Leste, Bilal Durrani ba Diretor Interinu Asosiasaun Halibur Defisíensia Matan Timor-Leste (AHDMTL), Sr. Gabriel Ponciano de Sousa iha eskritoriu AHDMTL Manleuana, Dili. Marka mós prezensa iha serimonia ne’e Distinta Deputada Sra. Elvina Sousa de Carvalho, membru Komisaun B ba Asuntu Negósiu Estranjeiru, Defeza no Seguransa.   

Ekipamentu no material sira ne’ebé entrega ne’e inklui mákina empresora no mákina-hakerek braille sira, livru leitor dijital sira, ábakus, kalkulador koalia, relojiu parede ho lian-koalia, plaka kontajen sira, komputadór sira no ekipamentu sira seluk hodi hadi’ak ensinu ba labarik sira ho defisíensia matan iha Timor-Leste. 

“Ema ho defisíensia iha potensia boot hanesan ema seluk, no ne’e komprova ona husi AHDMTL ho-nia membru sira iha okaziaun balun. Ita agradese ba UNICEF-nia ajuda habelar opsaun sira atu ema ho defisíensia sira iha Timor-Leste, liu husi doasaun ekipamentu no formasaun sira,” dehan Ministru Edukasaun, Juventude no Desportu, Dr. Armindo Maia. “Ema hotu iha direitu hanesan iha Timor-Leste. Parlamentu Nasional no governu ho sira seluk komprometidu ona atu fó apoia ema ho defisíensia sira, no Ministériu Edukasaun, Juventude no Desportu halo advokasia ba aumentu finansiamentu hodi fonese tan apoiu no alkansa ema barak ho servisu sira.”

Labarik sira hotu inklui labarik sira ho defisíensia, iha direitu hanesan, inklui direitu ba edukasaun hanesan konsagra ona iha Konstituisaun Timor-Leste no mós iha instrumentu internasional sira seluk hanesan Konvensaun Nasoins Unidas ba Direitu ba Labarik Nasoins Unidas nian (UN CRC sigla Inglés) no mós Konvensaun Nasoins Unidas ba Direitu sira ba Ema ho Defisíensia (UNCRPD sigla Inglés). Maibé labarik sira ho defisíensia hasoru dezafiu barak. Sira ne’e inklui stigma, ladun hetan asesu ba edukasaun ho kualidade, menus manorin espesialiazadu sira no mós menus dadus kona-ba labarik ho defisíensia iha Timor-Leste. Alende ne’e eskola sira iha rai-laran mós la ekipadu atu apoia aprendizajen ba labarik sira ho defisíensia. 

“Hau hakarak aproveita oportunidade ne’e hodi husu atu aumenta esforsu sira hodi garante edukasaun inkluzivu ba labarik sira no ema sira ho defisíensia. Labarik sira hotu merese oportunidade atu moris, asesu ba informasaun, no prosperidade,” dehan Bilal Durrani, Reprezentante País UNICEF iha Timor-Leste. “UNICEF apela ba Governu no Parlamentu Timor-Leste atu aselera ratifikasaun Konvensaun Direitu ba Ema ho Defisíensia no aprovasaun lei relevante sira, no involve ema sira ho defisíensia iha prosesu konsulta no foti desizaun sira.”

UNICEF servisu hamutuk ona ho ministeriu relevante sira hodi mellora provisaun servisu sira ba labarik sira ho defisíensia iha país ne’e. Liu husi kolaborasaun ho Ministériu Edukasaun, Juventude no Desportu, UNICEF mós estabelese ona parseria ho Organizasaun sira ba Ema ho Defisíensia sira hanesan AHDMTL no ALMA Sisters hodi oferese apoiu espesializadu ba hanorin labarik sira ho defisíensia. UNICEF mós fó ona formasaun ba manorin sira iha AHDMTL kona-ba oinsa atu hanorin labarik ho defisíensia matan kona-ba literasia no numerasia uza braille no apoiu teknolojia, renova ona dormitoriu maskulinu, fasilidade sintina, bee, saneamentu no ijiene no espasu temporariu aprendizajen iha sentru AHDMTL. 

Iha 2021, atu habelar asesu ba edukasaun no informasaun, UNICEF apoia ona AHDMTL atu konklui avaliasaun ida kona-ba nesesidade labarik sira ho defisíensia matan iha munisípiu tolu mak Bobonaro, Ermera no Likisa. Dadus hosi avaliasaun ida-ne’e sei uza ba planeamentu intervensaun sira ba oin hodi apoia nesesidade aprendizajen ba labarik sira, introdusaun hosi instrumentu no espansaun servisu sira iha eskola hotu no instituisaun aprendizajen hotu iha país ne’e.

UNICEF mós servisu ho Sekretaria Estadu ba Komunikasaun Sosial, AHDMTL no Asosiasaun Ema ho Defisiensia Timor-Leste hahú 2020 hodi dezenvolve material informasaun lubuk ho braille no lian-jestual kona-ba prevensaun COVID-19 no informasaun vasina COVIDF-19, no mós foin lalais ne’e kona-ba rejistu moris. 
 

Media contacts

Tapuwa Loreen Mutseyekwa
Advocacy and Communication Specialist
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +67077231103
Tel: +670 331 1297, Extension: 1820
Antonio Gomes
Communication Officer (Tetum)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 7723 2441
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF Timor-Leste and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/timorleste

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