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General Report on: Project: LABEH INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING PROGRAM

It gives us great pleasure to present this general report on the activities of LABEH Education and Capacity Development Department. LABEH English language program started February 20, 2004 the initial eighteen months of the English language skill capacity training program ends on July 21, 2005. As you maybe aware of the language race in our country, education is unquestionably the key answer to the language race.

It provides a foundation for democratic discourse through literacy, it helps increase productivity, and it provides skills and abilities for an increased formal workforce. Educations in all fields are fundamental to our country’s development; English language is one of them. People tend to study English language rather than other isolated languages that would not help them internationally.
 
This general report reviews the accomplishments made by the department since it started eighteen months ago. Our objective to build and improve students English language skill in Timor-Leste has been greatly achieved as most of our students are now studying overseas; others have received employment opportunities in the country.

The English language preparation programs are designed to improve students’ capacity and language skills. LABEH English language program is a valuable introduction to business, preparation for employment and preparation for further studies. The English language courses are prepared and designed to improve student’s capacity in language skills.

LABEH International English Language Testing Program is an authorized testing center for its own students in Dili, Timor-Leste.  Students will be able to write the examination after taking the entire courses.

Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) reiterates its commitment to improving its students English language capacity skill. We believe that LABEH will continue to pioneer the English language capacity development program that will eventually be expanded to all our national districts in the future.

Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) takes this opportunity to acknowledge the support of the government of Timor-Leste through the Ministry of Education youth and Sport and Secretary of State Labor and Solidarity and the families of all the students for supporting this important initiative.

On behalf of LABEH, “The Mirror for the People”, please accept our heartfelt thanks for all the support.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Christopher Henry Samson
Executive Director LABEH
“The Mirror for the People”

 

Contents:

National and Regional Situation Summary

Highlights of the English Language Program

Assessment Summary of the English Language Program

Achievement of English Language Program Objective

Plans for the coming years

Expense Report

Activities of LABEH Education and Capacity Development Department

Speeches          

 

National and Regional Situation Summary

As a new nation, Timor-Leste is working to develop in several sectors, and the education sector has been identified as a top priority by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

According to article 59, section 3 of the RDTL constitution, the Government “recognizes and supervises private and cooperative education” allowing private investment in the entire sector from kindergarten to higher education. It enables private initiatives to participate in education, but it does not mean that people should be establishing private education institutions beyond the country’s needs and capabilities.

Many factors are required to establish a higher education institution. Funds and facilities are important, but we cannot forget that a good higher education institution must produce provisional – quality graduates in each field. Therefore, quality teachers and teaching are necessary to provide academic and professional skills to those sitting in the classroom.

Timor-Leste became the first new independent nation of the millennium on 20 May 2002, with sovereignty passing from the United Nations to Timor-Leste’s elected government and parliament under the newly written constitution. Many of the emergency and aid organizations have now left, but foreign governments, international financial institutions, and multinational corporations continue to play a major role in Timor-Leste. International advisors and trainers are pervasive in government; the UN mission (UNMISET), wound up on May 20, 2005. Though, the UN Security Council decided to continue to assist Timor-Leste with a new small political mission UNOITL, whose civil accompaniment will provide technical assistance to various State departments as well 15 military advisors and 60 police advisors.

In our districts in Timor-Leste, unemployment stands at more than 75%, many of the school buildings and homes destroyed in 1999 have not yet been rebuilt, and the judicial, educational and other government systems are barely functioning. The major roles played by international institutions in Timor-Leste have unavoidably created many misunderstandings and lack of communication both among the Timorese people and among the many foreigners working in Timor-Leste.

The Timorese people, having been colonized and occupied for centuries, have never had the occasion to deal with these institutions. At the same time, thousands of international civil servants, consultants, soldiers, police, “volunteers” and “experts” have relocated to a country most of them had hardly heard of seven years ago. Consequently, rumors and confusion abound in the variety of languages, backgrounds, education, and cultures and work experiences that exists in Timor-Leste.

At the same time, efforts led by the international community to rebuild the country have fallen far short. Education, Poverty and health care are the worst in Asia. Basic infrastructures – water, electricity, transportation, and telecommunications – are not available to a large majority of the population in the districts.

Highlights of the English Language Program

LABEH education and capacity development department has a weekly English language training program that runs for three months, Monday through Saturday and have four training sections according to the level of English chosen by the students. Level one is Basic English language, level two is intermediate English language, level three is pre-advance English language and level four is advance English language. All the four levels have one system or methodology of teaching based on the four skills of language learning; listening, speaking, reading and writing.
A total of 201 students have participated in LABEH Education and Capacity Development Department since its creation as a separate department in LABEH in 2004 and a total of 119 students has graduated and received their English language certificates.

The English language lessons take the form of an informative magazine, covering the four skills of language learning, emphasizing the principles of the importance of speaking practice. We also initiated one night program titled “Talent Night” for the students where the students from all levels of English language class come together in fellowship to share their talents with other students and discus how to increase the participation of the youth in the development process, how to train the youth in a more practical and purposeful manner and how to provide vocational and clerical training for other youths when they finish their three months course in LABEH.

The principal objective of LABEH’s English language skill capacity development to increase the Timorese people’s level of knowledge about English language and effective participation in, the reconstruction and development of our country through providing training on English language education and others has been met in principal. It has become clear that the Timorese people would continue to need and want the English language training program that LABEH is providing for its students.

Though, we have made significant progress as noted above, the only difficulty we are facing is the high dropout of students as most could not afford to pay the English lesson fee, few others do not have time to study as most of them work outside Dili from time to time. We do not have enough human resources to teach English language, we need funds to establish a mini library, computers and internet facilities for our growing students.

Assessment Summary of the English Language Program

People in Timorese civil society, government, Parliament and NGOs have benefited from LABEH education and capacity development department as they told us that LABEH English language training program becomes the only reliable English language training center for students to study English language and a very positive contribution to the nation on language skill development in the country and continues to be very important.

Men and women including youth and children have also benefited from the English language training program during the first eighteen months. Four members of our National Parliament has participated in our English language course, other students that have participated in the language skill training program include from the Ministry of Interior (police) the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works, university students, senior and junior high school, NGOs and the public at large.    

Achievement of English Language Program Objective

The progress and the achievements made so far in our English language training program objective are significant. On April 2, 2004 LABEH awarded its first English certificate achievement to its 7 graduating students, on September 31, 2004 LABEH awarded another English language certificates to its 12 graduating students, on March 31, 2005 another 40 students received their English language certificate and another 51 students are due to cerebrate and to receive their English language certificate achievement today July 21, 2005, a total of 110 students have under gone their English training program in LABEH from a total of 201 students that registered to follow the English language training course which we considered a significant achievement and contribution to human capacity development in the country and LABEH’s contribution to the nation in the area of human resource and capacity development sector.

Our students (Beneficiaries) has commended LABEH’s Education Department for its method of teaching English language that gives them the opportunity to practice their new language in the classroom with other students.

Plans for the coming years

Our plan for the years ahead is to be consistent in our English training program, add computer training course, establish mini library for our students and internet facilities. 

Expense Report

Activities and financial report of LABEH Education and Capacity Development Department has been prepared according to our income and expenditures in the programs related to English language training program, producing students certificates, examination papers, examination questionnaires, preparing for talents nights, markers, dusters, books, pens, photo for students documentations, registers, chairs, tables, fuel for generator, electric bills and others, our daily office administration and other programs of LABEH on transparency and accountability and transportation for our staff and food allowances has always been from our income from the English language course.

As a nascent organization, we are well aware of the existing difficulties to obtain scarce financial resources so desperately deeded to carryout our programs and activity. LABEH realizes the need to further develop capacity in the administration of its organization, and is seeking assistance to overcome such constraints.

ACTIVITIES

LABEH Education and Capacity Development Department

February 2004
The progress and the achievements made so far in our English language training program objective are significant. Our Education and Capacity Development started its weekly English language training program on February 2004 for three months with 16 students. Given the language race in our country and limited access to formal education, LABEH provides opportunity for those students wanting to improve their skills in English language. 

April 2004
On April 2, 2004 LABEH awarded its first English language achievement certificate to its 7 graduating students. A total of 16 students participated in the English language training program but only 7 completed the three months course. 

June 2004
LABEH provides another opportunity for interested students to join the English language training program which is valuable introduction to business, preparation for employment and further study.

September 2004
On September 31, 2004 LABEH awarded another English language achievement certificate to its 12 graduating students. A total of 25 students participated in the English language training program but only 12 completed the three months course. 

November–December 2004
LABEH opened another opportunity for interested students to join the English language training program which started on January 2005 with 65 new students.

February 2005
We initiated one night program titled “Talent Night” for the students where the students from all levels of English language class come together in fellowship to share their talents with other students and discus how to increase the participation of the youth in the development process, how to train the youth in a more practical and purposeful manner and how to provide vocational and clerical training for other youths when they finish their three months course in LABEH.

March 2005
On March 31, 2005 another 40 students received their English language achievement certificate. A total of 65 students participated in the English language training program but only 40 completed the three months course. 

April 2005
Due to the increase in the number of students we are receiving LABEH opened another opportunity for interested students to join the English language skill development training program; this time LABEH registered a total of 95 new students.

June 2004
LABEH Education Department on 20 June 2004 staged and adapted “Talent Night” as one of its educational programs for the students as it gives the students the opportunity to come together in fellowship to share their talents with other students, it is the last program before the student could take their examination text.

July 2005
Another 51 students are due to cerebrate and to receive their English language certificate achievement today July 21, 2005, a total of 95 students registered in the English language training program but only 51 would be eligible to receive its achievement certificate for taking the examination and completing the three months course. 

LABEH is proud to announce that a total of 201 students have participated and under gone their English training program in LABEH, while a total of 110 students have graduated and received their English language achievement certificate which we considered a significant achievement and contribution to human capacity development in our country and LABEH’s contribution to the nation in the area of language skill, human resource and capacity development sector.

Therefore, the English language capacity development skill program can be considered as first in kind with positive results. It has become clear that the Timorese people would continue to need and want the English language program that LABEH is providing for its own students.


Speech Presented at the 2nd Graduation of LABEH Students Certificate Award Ceremony, September 30, 2004
By:
Mr. Salomao Fraga Fernandes

Your Excellency Dr. Christopher Henry Samson, President Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH)
Your Excellency Dr. Rui Menezes Member National Parliament
Your Excellency Dr. Leanadro Isaac Member National Parliament
Your Excellency Dr. Cerilo Cristovao, Dili District Court Judge
Honored guests
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Student and Members of LABEH 
Members of the Press

Before I begin my speech about our English Language Course in LABEH, let me once more give our deepest thank you to our Teacher Dr. Christopher Henry Samson, who spent his time during these three months to teach us English Language.

I am representing all the students of LABEH in this presentation both the Basic class and the intermediate Class. I will not also, forget to tell you that in the beginning of our course we were 30 registered students, but today only half of that number was able to complete the course.

This is the reason we are happy, though it is a challenge and benefit.

English language is very important because it is one of the international languages, which our constitution recognized as our working language together with Indonesian language.
It is also very difficult to study due to the Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking are not the same, they are different from one another.

This is the challenge we have under gone during this three months course. But with our effort and dedication to study and the good motivation from our Teacher we can now understand slowly and little by little how to speak English.

The motivation and support from our teacher led us through this three months, though we still face many difficulties but we are very satisfied with our English Course in LABEH and it is a step forward towards our English language study.

Today is the first anniversary of LABEH, so may God bless LABEH to do its programs with success.

Finally, I just want to say this certificate is not the end of our study but it is a step for us to continue our English study in the future.

Thank you very much.

 

Speech Presented on the 3rd
LABEH English Language Certificate Award Ceremony, March 31, 2005
By:
Dr. Christopher Henry Samson

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Members of the Press,

It was seven months ago, in September 2004 when LABEH “the Mirror for the People” cerebrated its one-year anniversary and on that same date awarded 19 students their English language course Certificate. It was also on that same day that LABEH drama group received their Certificates.

We are here again today to witness another graduation of LABEH students. I would begin by thanking all of you who have made it to the end. Why? Due to we started the course with nearly 75 students but today only about 40 students made it to the end.

LABEH English language program is a valuable introduction to business, preparation for employment and preparation for further studies. The English language courses are prepared and designed to improve student’s capacity in language skills.

As you know the language race in our country, people tend to study English that would help them in the future than to study other isolated languages that would not help them internationally.
 
As you know that the language policy in our country is still perceived as being anchored in unknown seas. The adoption of the Portuguese language as one of the two official languages of our country has left most of our Indonesian educated citizens wondering about their own chances of playing an effective role in the country. Tetun has also been adopted as an official language, but whether it will become a modernized and standardized language remains to be seen.

Our Government up till now is yet to produce an integrated language policy in order to clarify the expectations of our people regarding the Tetun language.

The justification for the use of the Portuguese appears to be based on the grounds of identity rather than on practical issues based on sound policy analysis. Of the four languages in use in our country, the non-official languages still play a key role as ‘working languages’ of Timor Leste.

English and Bahasa Indonesia are expected to flourish due to the fact that the language is used extensively throughout the region. The predominant use of Tetun, English and Bahasa Indonesia in the Government among the staff and in the commercial realm since after independence has proved the practical need for the Government to increase its efforts in improving the use of Tetun and English.

The language policy has created many problems in our country. One of these problems is the fact that only those who speak Portuguese can be considered for key posts in the Government, arguably whether or not they are qualified for the posts or not.
The question of whether an official language is widely spoken by the population is crucial - what is the need of a language if it is not for communication? The language race in our country is one of the biggest problems of our time.

The choice of Portuguese as an Official language has severely harmed our expectations of empowering our people to a participatory democracy to become truly independent. Our young generations, who grew up under Indonesian rule and who never had the opportunity to leave our country to reach the outside world are now threatened by the use of Portuguese. To find jobs and to effectively participate in political life and in the building of our nation seems to be reserved for those who went to Portugal, Angola, Mozambique and Brazil and those belonging to the older generations.

As our young generation learned and increasingly uses Bahasa Indonesian, Tetun also evolved through teaching, preaching, and pop music that even reached to the Timorese communities in the Diaspora.

At our schools, the government has adopted a phasing- out policy whereby the Indonesian language will be phased out and the Portuguese language will be integrated into the main curricula. What about Tetun and English that needs to be developed?

The Government should show commitment to overcome these gaps; the real issue is what the language is for. English and Indonesian will still be involved due to the fact that there is much trade with Indonesian and many interactions with the international communities.

Asia uses English, Australia and New Zealand also use English and our young generations are now using English and the need for knowledge of this language is real and present. Our Government should learn from Malaysia - who threw English out the window after the departure of the British only to later reintegrate English into the school system. 

The speed of the language race in our country will depend, however, on the concrete policies of the Governments which until to day have still remained non existent. The Government should study the practical needs of our people by the impact of foreign presence and investment in the country to consider which of these languages need more attention.

Thank you

 

Speech Presented at the 3rd LABEH English Language Certificate Award Ceremony, March 31, 2005
By Student Representative: Clotilde Monica Mendonca Ferreira

You’re Excellency, Dr. Christopher Henry Samson
Executive Director of LABEH
 
Honored Guests,

Members of the Press,

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As students, we have studied here during three months we have got a lot of knowledge and we also found a lot experiences. Not only in the English course but also in other LABEH’s program like dialog about Transparency and Accountability on Petroleum Fund Management , Radio Talk Show about combating corruption and also about Leadership.

About English language course we really found something difference here, in the first time we enter into the class room, in our imagination or in our thinking we will learnt about grammar, verb, noun and the other kinds of tenses but we are wrong, it’s different if we compare with other English course Centers because in the other English course they teach us how to make a good sentences, we know that to learn English we have 4 skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing.

How to determine which one is the key or skill that we must know as the first to reach to be successfully when we study English, our Teacher says that you can write alone, you can listen to radio alone and you can reading the book alone but you can’t really speak alone when you speak alone the man in the white coast may come and take you away, that means when you speak alone people will think that you are crazy and they will call ambulance to come and take you to a mental hospital.

Speaking is really important when you learn any language including English. While we are here from the beginning we star our lessons, we have the rules in the class room that you have no right to speak any other language unless English, don’t be afraid to speak and every student must be active in the class.

You can understand English by listening, reading and writing but never speak it means nothing. Because I say that speaking is important it means that we don’t learn about listening, reading and writing, no! we also learn all of them and every topic that our teacher choose to teach us is very interesting topic so it is like a magnet that made all the students to have competition between each other how to do something that is the best of the best.
Our teacher also encourages us to speak because the big challenge that we are facing in the learning English is we are afraid to speak because we are afraid to make mistakes so our teacher says that if you speak English and someone laugh at you, you speak fataluku or bunak to the person and see if the person can reply it for you, laugh to them that means English is not our language, so I learn and try to do my best. If someone ask me what is the negative benefits that you found here I will say that of course no body is perfect but it’s difficult for me to find something negative here, so maybe just sometimes we learn in the darkness and a lot of mosquitoes but it’s not a problem for us because where there’s a will there’s a way.

Today we very happy because we receive our result because we have studded here, but for me personally I don’t want to say thank you to our teacher his Excellence Mr. Christopher Henry Samson PhD because it is not the end just the beginning I will say thank you when someone ask me to speak or have a speech in English like this I can speak without this paper.
Thank you.        

 

Speech Presented on the 4th
LABEH English Language Certificate Award Ceremony, July 21, 2005
By:
Dr. Christopher Henry Samson
Executive Director LABEH

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Members of the Press,

Congratulations to all students who participated in LABEH English language course and are due to receive their certificates of achievement today!

Before I begin, I wish to extend my great appreciation to the entire guests who are here today to witness the English language certificate award ceremony, to LABEH Education and Capacity Development Department for organizing this graduation, as a follow-up to the one held last March. Thank you also to the government, NGOs and parents of the students for supporting this initiative.  This is indeed yet another affirmation of LABEH’s commitment to capacity development skill and to promote English language training program in our country.

This is why I appreciate all the students who work hard at their studies, and I ask you to keep on working hard and to strengthen your ability in the language race in the country, as you know that we all are prisoners of one language or the other and are sentenced to proficiency of the language.

Let us not forget that we are walking through a very difficult process of changing from Indonesian language to Portuguese and English languages this means that we must assume the responsibility of studying these languages to be able to take part in the development process of our country.

Despite our language problems, I still believe that we are fortunate to be a young nation.  We have been afforded a window of opportunity, therefore, to begin everything from scratch.  We are in a privileged position to study English language and Portuguese language to observe and to learn from the experiences of others. But we need to begin to study and study and study.  Therefore, English Course such as LABEH English language program is welcomed as an occasion to foster greater debate on the language skill capacity development.

LABEH English language program is a valuable introduction to business, preparation for employment and preparation for further studies. The English language courses are prepared and designed to improve student’s capacity in English language skills.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

People in Timorese civil society, government, Parliament and NGOs have benefited from LABEH education and capacity development department as they told us that LABEH English language training program becomes the only reliable English language training center for students to study English language and a very positive contribution to the nation on language skill development in the country and continues to be very important.

Men and women including youth and children have also benefited from the English language training program during the first eighteen months. Four members of our National Parliament has participated in our English language course, other students that have participated in the language skill training program include the Ministry of Interior (police) the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works, university students, senior and junior high school, NGOs and the public at large.    

The progress and the achievements made so far in our English language training program objective are significant. On April 2, 2004 LABEH awarded its first English certificate achievement to its 7 graduating students, on September 31, 2004 LABEH awarded another English certificates to its 12 graduating students, on March 31, 2005 another 40 students received their English language certificate and another 51 students are cerebrating today to receive their English language certificate achievement.

A total of 110 students have under gone their English training program in LABEH from a total of 201 students that registered to follow the English language training course through out the studying period which we considered a significant achievement and our contribution to human capacity development in the country and LABEH’s contribution to the nation in the area of language skill and human resource capacity development sector.


Thank you

 

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