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An education in Portuguese culture

22 October 2019

The Chief Minister yesterday signed a renewed agreement with an international institution to broaden the teaching of the Portuguese language and culture in Jersey.

As a result of the agreement, four teachers will continue to work across island schools over the next five years to promote Portuguese literacy to children of Portuguese heritage.

At the Embassy of Portugal in London yesterday, Senator John Le Fondré signed a Protocol of Cooperation between the Government of Jersey and Camoes Instituto da Cooperacao e da Lingua, a Portuguese international institution that promotes the Portuguese language, culture and international aid, on behalf of the Government of Portugal. The President of the Camões Institute, Mr. Luís Faro Ramos, signed the agreement on behalf of the Camões Institute.

The Camões Institute recruits, pays, and manages two primary and two secondary school teachers to promote the use of Portuguese literacy to children of Portuguese heritage, in line with Jersey’s teaching policies. The Government of Jersey will provide classrooms and teaching materials and pay an agreed rental subsidy allowance to the four teachers. The agreement will be in place until the 2024/2025 academic year.

Senator Le Fondré said: “Portuguese nationals or descendants account for roughly 10 per cent of Jersey’s population, and are fully integrated in the Jersey community. Relations with Portugal are of great importance to the Government of Jersey, with Portugal featuring as a key strategic partner in the External Relations department’s European Relations strategy. In the context of Brexit, it is even more important than ever to have good bilateral relationships with European partners, and the Government of Jersey is investing in this function.

“The Government of Jersey wishes to provide its students and teachers the means to develop their proficiency in the Portuguese language and to establish programmes of cooperation to provide and broaden the teaching of Portuguese language and culture.”

Assistant Education Minister, Deputy Jeremy Maçon, said: “The formal teaching of Portuguese in schools allows children of Portuguese descent to grow up bilingual and literate in both Portuguese and English, which can help them at every stage of their learning and improve their academic performance.”​

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