Brazil forged an agreement with Spain on the training of teachers and managers, exchange programs for students and teachers, and research in education. A memorandum of understanding was signed by Brazil’s Education Minister Rossieli Soares and Spain’s Ambassador to Brazil Fernando García Casas. Projects will receive support from the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI).
“Our linguistic roots are closely related and language cannot be a barrier. We have a lot of scientific knowledge in both countries and a lot to share about primary education, teacher training, management, and many other topics,” Rossieli Soares said.
The deal comprises exchange programs in training for teachers and researchers and pedagogic technology; exchange programs for undergraduate and graduate students; seminars, workshops, and conferences; and more.
“The memorandum signed will serve to generate scientific knowledge to be shared not just in English, but also Portuguese and Spanish,” Casas pointed out. He noted that some 150 thousand Spanish people live in Brazil, and over 100 thousand Brazilians are in Spain.
The agreement comes in connection with OEI’s Ibero-American Portuguese Language Program, unveiled and approved by the Education Ministries from OEI nations. The project is expected to reach other countries, chief among them Brazil’s neighbors, and should bolster bilingual education in border schools and other Brazilian regions.
Mariano Jabonero Soares, OEI secretary-general, said the initiative aims to provide Spanish classes in some 30 to 40 border schools and subsequently benefit regions with high immigration rates, like São Paulo.
“It’s crucial in making us live with and learn from our neighbors, not just looking at language, but also understanding how the other side works, its history, culture, that which comes from the people,” Soares noted. Just as Brazilian schools will have Spanish classes, Portuguese lessons will be offered in the schools participating in the project in other Latin American countries.
All of Brazil’s neighboring countries were contacted. The experience should start in Colombia. Today (9), Minister Rossieli is visiting the frontier region and meeting with Colombian officials. Argentina and Uruguay are likely to be next in signing a deal, Soares reported.