Monday, January 16, 2012
From two articles on this:
The Panel for the Defense of Teaching Portuguese Abroad (O Colectivo para a Defesa do Ensino do Português no Estrangeiro), created to challenge cuts in the network of Portuguese teachers, gathered on Saturday about 100 people at the Embassy of Portugal in France.
Parents, teachers, students and representatives arrives with flags of Portugal and protests signs: "Nós queremos aprender português" (we want to learn Portuguese), "A nossa língua é a nossa pátria!" (our language is our homeland!), and "Queremos guardar os nossos professores de português" (we want to keep our Portuguese teachers).
The demonstrators will deliver more than 2500 signatures to Ambassador Francisco Seixas da Costa against the decision by the government, which they say will represent "the beginning of the end of teaching Portuguese in France and Europe".
The Instituto Camões announced in late 2011 that it would reduce by January 49 teaching posts abroad, particularly in France (20), Switzerland (20) and Spain (9).
According to this group, in France more than two million children were left without Portuguese classes. The ambassador in Paris, Francisco Seixas da Costa, estimates that this number is between 1700 and 1800.
The ambassador of Portugal in Paris affirmed today, where another protest took place against the reduction in the number of teachers of Portuguese in France, that the ministries of education of the two countries will discuss the issue at the end of the month.
Asked whether the reduction on the part of the Portuguese government, which gives lessons in primary school, would mean future cuts by the French government government, which provides Portuguese classes in secondary school, the ambassador answered no.