Timor-Leste: The now in the not yet of school leadership
School leaders in Timor-Leste work in conditions that would make those occupying similar positions in more developed countries despair. In every aspect of school administration school principals face almost insurmountable problems to keep their schools functioning. Indeed, without their commitment and dedication the doors of the schools would be unlikely to be kept open on a daily basis. This chapter describes the background to the situation. It looks at the history of Timor-Leste and the reconstruction of the education sector after independence in 1999. It goes on to describe the reality of school leadership, placing the experiences of school leaders in the wider context of education in a developing nation. The chapter also reflects on the particular difficulties being faced by leaders in the education sector in trying to build a system that will help its citizens to reduce poverty and achieve human development for the future.