The Portuguese association Casa Amadis in Montpellier, France, denounced that the academy that governs public education in the region refuses to teach Portuguese in schools with high school principals claiming that it would “downgrade” educational establishments.
There is only one high school, which fights against everyone and because it has a principal who likes the Portuguese language, who teaches Portuguese, and other high schools gave us the answer that they would not have Portuguese because it would lower the level of these schools, so they preferred to have Chinese “, denounced Tito Livio, president of the cultural and Portuguese-speaking association Casa Amadis, in statements to the Lusa agency.
Casa Amadis turns out to be the only resource for young people in Montpellier who want to learn Portuguese from the first year of primary school, with a teacher from the Camões Institute who travels to the region to teach four classes in and around Montpellier.
The refusal to teach Portuguese, despite Casa Amadis guaranteeing that there is demand, came from the rectory of Montpellier, which integrates the region’s academy, the highest regional body that coordinates school and university education in French territory.
Our honorary consul did all the work with the community so that there was dissemination of the Portuguese language in primary schools, in primary and secondary education in Montpellier and there was a formal and absolute refusal by the dean of Montpellier”, accused Tito Livio.
In order to combat the refusal of the French authorities and having already intervened by the Coordination of Portuguese Teaching in France, Casa Amadis now wants to offer theater classes in Portuguese from 5 to 17 years old in order to stimulate language learning.
We want to make Portuguese attractive, to show that it is not a despicable language or that it has no connection to a culture”, declared.
According to this association leader, around 5,000 Portuguese live in the region, as well as the second largest community of Brazilians in France and many Cape Verdeans. The four classes at Casa Amadis currently have 50 students, and there are also French people interested in learning Portuguese.
Interest continues in higher education, as several universities, including the University of Architecture of Montpellier, have Erasmus protocols with Portuguese universities.
There are requests at university level because the Faculty of Architecture in Montepellier has agreements with Portuguese universities and I’m the one who evaluates them, but I can’t give a B1 level to someone who speaks Spanish”, explained Tito Lívio, who is also a Portuguese teacher.
The Casa Amadis theater class project was nominated among other Portuguese associations for the Gala Awards from the Cap Magellan association and even though it did not win, it received a check for 500 euros that should guarantee the launch of the project.
Theater classes are provided by actress Monica Lages da Cunha and are free, as are Portuguese classes already taught at the institution.