Portugal investing in teaching Portuguese

30 Mar 2016 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 30 MAR (NAMPA) – The outgoing Ambassador of Portugal to Namibia, Helena Alexandra Andrade Furtado de Paiva Wednesday bid farewell to Namibian Head of State President Hage Geingob.
Paiva will be leaving Namibia in mid-April 2016. Her successor will take office at the end of May 2016.
Speaking to the president during a courtesy visit to State House, Paiva said the teaching of the Portuguese language in Namibia is progressing well, adding that after students successfully complete their courses at the selected institutions, they will be hired by the education ministry to teach Namibian children Portuguese in schools.
“Right now, we have four Namibian teachers in Portugal studying the basics of Portuguese for six months and once they are done, they will come back to Namibia and teach the learners,” she said.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) members are also being taught Portuguese to help with border interactions with Angolan citizens.
“It’s a three-year Portuguese course,” she said.
President Geingob said the cooperation with Portugal is good and assisting in Namibia’s already established ties with Angola and the strengthening of ties with Mozambique; another former Portuguese colony.
He also explained to the outgoing ambassador that English is not Namibia’s official language.
“Namibia is not an English speaking country, contrary to what people believe in Africa. We adopted it artificially to create a neutral language because we are divided by Bantu standards, so that’s why,” he elaborated.
The Head of State added that Namibia used English as a unifier and not because it is a better language than Afrikaans, “but since Afrikaans that time was a problem, we then took English”.
“So we are starting now with Portuguese because it’s very important to our neighbours,” he noted.
Other nations such as Spain also approached the Government to teach Namibians Spanish and the German government also invests in teaching the European language to Namibians.