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The Namibian
Thu 5 Mar 2015
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ECONOMIC NEWS | 2011-08-15
Portuguese to be introduced in schools
CATHERINE SASMAN
PORTUGUESE will be introduced as a foreign language in Namibian State schools from next year, the Ministry of Education confirmed.
This is in response to increased demand from learners who are not necessarily Portuguese speakers, which senior public relations officer with the Ministry, Toivo Mvula, said is 'fairly understandable' given the fact that Portuguese is used in Angola and Mozambique, for those interested in diplomatic, political or business careers.
'The Ministry is simply responding to the demand, like in the case of German and French,' he said.
Mvula said schools all over Namibia - and not just in the north, but also Windhoek, the coast, and other parts - have been providing Portuguese as a first language for about 10 years already. He said the language subject will be introduced at schools depending on the number of teachers available next year.
The language programme will start at five schools for the first year.
Portuguese is currently offered by Unam and has about 100 students.
The Portuguese Embassy is assisting the Ministry of Education in this endeavour.
Charges d'Affairs of the Portuguese Embassy Helena Paiva said a memorandum of understanding between the embassy and the Ministry of Education is near finalisation.
The embassy has already sent five technical advisers to Namibia that are providing assistance with continuous teacher training in the regions, as well as assisting the National Institute for Educational Development (NEID) with the development of teaching and learning materials.  
It will also provide scholarships to Namibians to be trained as teachers of Portuguese as a foreign language, and provide textbooks and related resources, like dictionaries, for the initial phase of the programme.  
'Both countries recognise the importance of teaching the Portuguese language and culture in the education system of Namibia, both as an element of union and mutual knowledge, namely taking into consideration the shared historical and cultural links, and as an added value to the training and knowledge if the Namibian students,' said Paiva.
There are about 100 000 Portuguese speakers in Namibia, and Portuguese is the official language of five African countries.

         


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