Subject: LUSA: 300 teachers ready to re-launch Portuguese language program

East Timor: 300 teachers ready to re-launch Portuguese language program

Dili, Nov. 14 (Lusa) - Nearly 300 Portuguese and local teachers re-launch the Lisbon-financed program to reintroduce the Portuguese language in East Timor Wednesday, officials said Tuesday.

They said the Portuguese Language Reintroduction project, which was interrupted six months ago by a wave of violence, would involve more than 10,000 students, teacher trainees, civil servants, and members of religious and non-governmental organizations, among others.

The program will be administered by 117 Portuguese and 170 Timorese teachers, many of the latter trained earlier by their Portuguese counterparts under the three-year-old project.

The Lisbon-designed program has two additional components: the supply of Portuguese-language school manuals and other materials and language and technical instruction for Timor's fledgling media.

On independence in 2002, after 24 years of Indonesian occupation, Timorese authorities opted for Portuguese as an official language alongside the local Tetum.

Portuguese was not widely spoken in East Timor during Lisbon's more than four centuries of colonial rule, and Jakarta tried to stamp out its use altogether. (Lusa)

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