23.10.2017 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

International Workshop for SDG4: Enhancing Quality Science and Mathematics Education in Timor-Leste

International Workshop for SDG4

6 October, Bali, Indonesia

An international workshop was held in the beautiful island of Bali in Indonesia titled “Celebrating Creative and Strategic Partnership for SDG4: Enhancing Quality Science and Mathematics Education in Timor-Leste” last 4-6 October 2017 organized by UNESCO Jakarta highlighting the Timor-Leste Quality Education- 3rd Cycle Mathematics and Science Curriculum Revision Project.

The 3-day workshop was attended by the participants from the Ministry of Education of the cluster countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor-Leste under UNESCO Jakarta including participants from South Korea from the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU), the Korean National Education University (KNUE) and the Korean Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity (KOFAC). Part of the international workshop was the Final Project Reporting of the Timor-Leste 3rd Cycle Mathematics and Science Curriculum Revision implemented by UNESCO Jakarta in partnership with the Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Timor-Leste as the project’s recipient with funding support from KOICA Timor-Leste. Local Ministry of Education officials from Bali with selected math and science teachers of the two junior high schools in Denpasar also took part in the workshop as participants.

The overall objective of the 3-day workshop/meeting was to share good practice and knowledge obtained from the 2014-2017 implementation of the Timor-Leste Mathematics and Science Curriculum Revision Project with international experts and working partners. Specifically, the meeting was to (a) share the significant accomplishments of UNESCO project in Timor-Leste with international experts especially from the Ministries of Education of the cluster countries of UNESCO Jakarta and the participants from the Republic of Korea which is one of the advanced countries in mathematics and science; (b) seek good practice and knowledge in other countries’ cases in the same field at the national level and regional level; (c) present excellent showcases of the UNESCO project in Timor-Leste and share it with other countries for feedback; and; (d) explore international cooperation to improve quality education for all through mathematics and science education at the national and regional levels to achieve SDG4.

The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Jakarta and Representative to Timor-Leste who welcomed all the participants and thanked in particular the government of Korea for their continuous support to UNESCO in education areas. Dr. Shahbaz Khan highlighted the role of UNESCO Jakarta as the Regional Bureau for Science and Office for 5 cluster countries in Southeast Asia and also highlighted the importance of partnership and collaboration amongst UNESCO Cluster Countries on the implementation of SDGs especially SDG4 in the region and mentioned the active role of UNESCO in ensuring that member states will be able to achieve the SDG4 targets. He noted that UNESCO implemented the Timor-Leste Quality Education for All: the 3rd Cycle of Mathematics and Science Education with the leadership role of the Ministry of Education in Timor-Leste which produced the national Mathematics and Science Textbooks’ student workbooks and teacher guidebooks to all students and teachers of Cycle 3 (Grade 7-9) under “One Book, One Student” slogan of the Ministry of Education and aimed to be distributed across the country. 

Brief remarks and messages were also provided by key invited officials such as Mr. Arief Rachman, Executive Chairman of the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, Indonesia as the host country of the international workshop. Mr. Rachman appreciated UNESCO Jakarta for organizing the important event and shared further Indonesia’s contribution to meeting the SDG4 goals specifically in improving quality education in the country and the contribution of science and math education in the development of Indonesia.

Ms. Cedelizia F. dos Santos, OIC Executive Secretary of the Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO also provided brief remarks. She mentioned about TL’s government’s development of a roadmap for the achievement of the SDGs in the country and TL NatCom’s contribution to the realization of quality education specifically their engagement in mother tongue education and math and science education for which TL NatCom is able to contribute in the provision of quality education in Timor-Leste.  Director General for Policy, Planning and Partnership of the Ministry of Education of Timor-Leste, Mr. Antoninho Pires also gave brief remarks by thanking all the partners who collaborated for the project and expressed appreciation and gratitude for its implementation and the successes that have been achieved.
The workshop was divided into 3 parts: presentation of the accomplishments and achievements of the math and science project by the implementing partner, the TL National Commission for UNESCO and the learnings gained from implementing the project; the second part of the workshop focused on sharing the good practices and knowledge in mathematics and science education provided by cluster countries from Indonesia, Malaysia including presentations from the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, Korean National  Education University, KOFAC and SEAMEO-QITEP.

Variety of practices, ideas and models have been shared and learned from experts of the organizations present in the meeting with exchanges during the presentations and have seen different models of implementing math and science education within the cluster countries including how the Korean system developed their math and science education. The 3rd day of the workshop was dedicated to visiting two junior high schools in Bali and seen math and science education practices in the classrooms as part of seeing the good practices and knowledge in math and science education from the Indonesian experience. The general impression was that, the two schools exhibited a good level of teaching math and science in the classrooms.  Part of the workshop also was a showcase of the Timor-Leste’s practices and models of teaching math and science in a practical way through an exhibition and display of teaching materials and models using indigenous available materials within the vicinity or locality of the school.

The workshop/meeting was closed in a simple programme through brief remarks of Dr. Mee Young Choi, Programme Specialist of Education of UNESCO Jakarta Office and also a brief closing statement from the Director General,  Mr. Antoninho Pires of the Ministry of Education of Timor-Leste who expressed appreciation to all the partners and the participants of the workshop and noted that indeed, math and science education is a basic teaching input to develop future generations of scientists and discoverers.

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