Empowering Education: Timor Leste's Journey with the SEA-PLM Programme

Friday, 29 March 2024 |

Empowering Education: Timor-Leste's Journey with the SEA-PLM Programme


In the heart of Southeast Asia lies Timor-Leste, a nation with a young but vibrant spirit. With a population of more than 1.3 million, including 373,000 students enrolled in primary and secondary education, the nation is on a trajectory of continued growth. Amidst its journey, Timor-Leste is embarking on a transformative mission in education, spearheaded by dedicated individuals like Mr Apolinario Serpa Rosa, the SEA-PLM National Focal Point and Directorate General of Preschool Basic and Recurrent Education at the Ministry of Education.

With over three decades of service in the education sector, Mr Apolinario's commitment to the betterment of Timorese children's lives is palpable. From his early days as a mathematics teacher to his current leadership role, his passion for education has remained unwavering. Inspired by his experiences during the liberation movement, he envisions an education system that not only imparts knowledge but also fosters growth and transformation.

Timor-Leste's participation in the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) programme marks a significant milestone. As the newest member country in the SEA-PLM 2024 cycle, Timor-Leste is poised to collaborate with regional partners to enhance education outcomes. The SEA-PLM programme, designed to improve education quality through rigorous assessment and capacity building, aligns perfectly with Timor-Leste's vision for its education system.


Mr Apolinario Serpa Rosa led the country delegation of Timor-Leste during the 14th SEA-PLM Regional Steering Committee Meeting on 21-22 February 2024 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

For Mr Apolinario and his team, joining the SEA-PLM initiative is more than just a technical endeavour; it's an opportunity to create lasting change. By leveraging evidence-based practices and fostering peer learning, they aim to enhance the quality of teaching and learning processes across the country. Their ultimate goal is to empower Timorese children with the tools they need to succeed in life.

Central to this mission is the belief that education is a transformative force, capable of shaping the future of nations. Just as Mr Apolinario once fought for his country's liberation on the battlefield, he now champions its progress through education. He envisions a future where every child in Timor-Leste has access to a quality education system supported by relevant data and information.

As Timor-Leste embarks on this journey with the SEA-PLM programme, the possibilities are endless. With dedicated leaders like Mr Apolinario at the helm, the country is poised to unlock the full potential of its youth and pave the way for a brighter future. Through collaboration, determination, and a shared commitment to excellence, Timor-Leste is redefining what it means to strive for educational success in Southeast Asia.