Portugal wants Portuguese as an optional language in observer countries

The president of the Camões Institute, Luís Faro Ramos (2-E), speaks during the presentation of the Portuguese

The president of the Camões Institute, Luís Faro Ramos (2-E), speaks during the presentation of the Portuguese Education Network Abroad 2019/2020

  |  ANTÓNIO PEDRO SANTOS/LUSA

The president of the Camões Institute appealed today to the CPLP observing countries to adopt Portuguese as an optional language in schools.

"The call is for all those who become associate observers of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries [CPLP] to adopt Portuguese as an optional language, at least optional, in their secondary-level public curriculum," said Luis Faro Ramos during the presentation in Lisbon of the education network abroad.

The president of Camões - Institute for Cooperation and Language spoke to journalists today, in the context of the public presentation of the Portuguese Teaching Network Abroad (EPE) for this school year, an event also attended by Foreign Affairs and Education Ministers, Augusto Santos Silva and Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, respectively.

According to data submitted by Faro Ramos, the official state-supported primary and secondary education network will have 72,244 students (70,824 in 2018/2019) and 978 teachers (972 in the previous year) in an estimated investment of over 22,5 million euros.

At this level of education, Portuguese will be integrated in 33 countries.

In higher education, Camões Institute estimates that 115,000 students will attend Portuguese courses (about 5,000 more than last year), accompanied by 850 teachers and 51 readers, in an investment of around 3 million euros.

Camões Institute also estimates that during the school year there will be a growth in the number of Portuguese Chairs abroad, which currently combine teaching and research, and will strengthen the network of Portuguese Language Centers, which currently exist in over 80 countries.

To journalists, Luís Faro Ramos stressed the "growth" recorded over the years in teaching abroad. "It is a growth that we have seen at the level of students, chairs, higher education institutions with which we have protocols. There is widespread growth," he said.

In the same vein, Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva highlighted the growth in the number of countries in which Portuguese is integrated into education systems.

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