Namibia to introduce Portuguese in the curriculum next year (2012)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An article from here in Portuguese, yet another of a great many I have chosen to shine a spotlight on showing how local demand nearly always trumps international prestige when it comes to learning languages. Another one from 2009 was about Zambia (sandwiched between Angola and Mozambique) doing the same thing.

This population map of Namibia shows how much more concentrated the population is in the north (near Angola).

Portuguese will be an optional subject in education in Namibia starting in 2012, and Portugal will train teachers and give support and technical assistance to them.

The announcement to introduce the Portuguese language in the official system of education in Namibia was done by the Minster of Education for the country, who justified the move due to the country's proximity to Angola and Mozambique, and the growing interest amongst Namibians to learn Portuguese in order to better integrate with these countries in diplomatic, business and cultural spheres.

"The government is simply responding to the demand, as was the case with German and French", said Toivo Mvula, spokesman for the Minister of Education.

The Instituto Camões will also provide textbooks and other bibliographic materials such as dictionaries, during the initial phase of introducing Portuguese to the curriculum as an optional language.

This will have a significant impact in the north of Namibia which shares a border with Angola, and where Portuguese is more or less the lingua franca of trade.

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