The Portuguese language could soon experience a resurgence in Macao. Officials have declared their intention to build a brand new Portuguese school that will cater to the language needs of an increasingly globalised city, the Macau Daily Times reports.
The paper says that Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong disclosed the plan at the Legislative Assembly earlier this week, explaining that while English was already taught at most schools in the city, there was also a need for high-level Portuguese instruction.
The new, government-run Portuguese school would be a “one-stop system” to ensure Macao had plenty of bilingual and trilingual speakers, according to Macau Daily Times.
“We will support students to do a course of four years in Portuguese language and, after that, they will [travel] to Portugal to continue their studies there,” it quoted Ao Ieong as saying. “Financial support will be granted to students to continue their studies in higher education in Portugal, in order to train qualified professionals fluent in Portuguese and to develop multidisciplinary knowledge.”
As China forges deeper relationships with Portuguese-speaking countries through Forum Macao initiatives, demand for Portuguese language skills will grow, she added. More Portuguese-speaking locals would also help cater to more foreign tourists visiting the SAR.
Macao already has one dedicated Portuguese school, the Macau Portuguese School, with 750 students. It’s a private, non-profit international school catering to grades 1 through to 12.