Portugal and Brazil signed a memorandum of understanding for the teaching of Portuguese at the school of this international organization in New York on Wednesday at the United Nations (UN), becoming the 10th language to be taught here.
The meeting was attended by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who made no statements to the press, permanent representatives of the UN in several Portuguese-speaking countries and a representative of the United Nations International School (UNIS).
Portuguese, an extracurricular course that has been taught to 20 students since last week, thus becomes the tenth language to be taught at this private institution, located in New York, in the United States of America and has more than 1,600 students from more than 50 nationalities.
“At first [it’s] an extracurricular activity, but then we have the hope that, with the sustainability that the collaboration of the two countries gives to this project, one can gradually transform or there may be a hypothesis that Portuguese is also offered curricularly”, declared the Portuguese ambassador to the United Nations, Francisco Duarte Lopes.
According to the Portuguese ambassador, it is an “opportunity” for UNIS students to increase their knowledge of all Portuguese-speaking countries and a “hypothesis” to “increase their possibilities in the labour markets“.
The permanent representative of Brazil to the UN, Mauro Vieira, considered that the lessons given by José Carlos Adão, from Camões – Institute of Cooperation and Language, and by a Brazilian teacher, represent the “diversity of the language and the think “in each of the Portuguese-speaking countries and” culture, cuisine, tourism “, becoming an “ excellent platform for dissemination and introduction of the Portuguese language. ”
Mauro Vieira also said that the Portuguese-speaking countries, located in four continents, “are in a good moment of economic development and this, of course, exposes the countries more to contacts with the outside.”
The idea came with the arrival of the president of Camões, Luís Faro Ramos, in New York on the Day of the Portuguese Language at the United Nations on May 5 and was officially announced on October 10 in Lisbon by the foreign ministers Portuguese and Brazilian.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, wished the project success and, addressing the diplomats in attendance, declared that the moment was “a great joy” and demonstrating the desire that the language teaching is followed “in the sense to increase the use of Portuguese in the United Nations system. ”
The costs of maintaining the course and teachers are borne by the permanent missions of Portugal and Brazil to the UN and the cooperation established in this protocol is accompanied by the coordinator of Portuguese Teaching in the United States of America.
The professor responsible for the Portuguese course, José Carlos Adão, reported that three levels of Portuguese are taught, corresponding to primary, basic and secondary education.