Wednesday, June 13, 2012
From here and some other places in Spanish:
English will gradually replace Spanish as the language of the public school system in Puerto Rico, in a plan that will unfold over the next ten years. The initiative will start 31 August in 31 schools, in which all children will be taught in English in all subjects except Spanish language and history.
Secretary of Education Edward Moreno Alonso said that it was a response to demand from parents, explaining that it is initially aimed at children 5 to 9 years of age and would eventually extend to all ages. He said that the initiative responds to the rights of Puerto Rican children "to acquire proficiency in English".
In the first stage of implementation, 35 other schools will teach various courses in English, in accordance with the ability of the teachers there.
Moreno stressed that the intention of the Executive headed by Governor Luis Fortuño (of the New Progressive Party which favours the annexation of the islands to the US) is to have the pilot program extend to the total of 860 centres in public school in the next 10 years.
Opposition senator Juan Eugenio Hernández Mayoral (of the Popular Democratic Party) said that education exclusively in English would impair knowledge of Spanish.
At the moment 30% of Puerto Ricans speak English with proficiency.