A total of 25 countries in Europe, Africa and America offer the teaching of Portuguese in school curriculums, and the Government says it is an “achievable goal” to increase this network, the Foreign Ministry announced.
“There are already 15 European countries that offer Portuguese as a foreign language in the curricula of their basic or secondary education,” said Augusto Santos Silva, at the opening of the third meeting of the Portuguese educational network abroad, under the theme “Mediation in Portuguese education abroad “, which will take place today in Lisbon.
According to the minister, “there are several” of these countries where there is no Portuguese education network abroad – such as Croatia, the Czech Republic or Norway – and he said that the “combination of the two networks will become increasingly important.”
“The positive effects are reciprocal: a good network of Portuguese education abroad helps the dissemination of Portuguese as a curricular option in the respective teaching and conversely,” he said.
In addition to the European examples, there are five more African countries that already guarantee the curricular offer of Portuguese, and five more Americans.
“Expanding this network is a perfectly feasible goal,” said Santos Silva.
The minister recalled that the 22 countries of the Ibero-American Conference (19 from Latin America and Portugal, Spain and Andorra in Europe) are committed to providing the teaching of the other language (Portuguese or Spanish, as the case may be), as 18 States that are associated observers of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
“As far as the Portuguese educational network abroad is concerned, the weather forecast is good, it is positive,” said the minister, saying that this means “an increase in responsibilities” at various levels.
They are: consolidation of the network, reinforcement of Camões – Institute of Cooperation and Language, qualification of teaching, certification and accreditation of learning, the “good combination” of face-to-face education and distance education, and ” this network and other Portuguese language presences in secondary education in the countries where the communities are present. ”
Regarding the projection of Portuguese as a global language, Santos Silva considered that Portuguese teaching abroad or as a curricular offer are not incompatible.
The minister said that the “five or six million Portuguese and Lusodeans who live a little around the world are also one of the reasons why Portuguese is a global language, spoken virtually throughout the world.”
“Whenever we respond specifically to the constitutional imperative of guaranteeing to the children of Portuguese living abroad a quality Portuguese education that is given priority to them, we are also contributing to the global projection of our language,” he said.
On the other hand, it is necessary to be able to distinguish what is the teaching of language – which will be increasingly assumed by different countries in their primary and secondary schools – than is Portuguese teaching abroad, which is intended not only to guarantee the teaching of language, but also the formation of elements that are identities, such as geography, history or the contemporary reality of Portuguese society, “said Augusto Santos Silva.