SPANISH Education Minister promotes learning Arabic in classrooms as part of her new Language Programmes
The controversial Spanish Minister of Education Isabel Celaá is making the headlines once again as many have criticised her for promoting other languages as part of her new Language Programmes and forgetting about Spanish.
The Ministry is working in collaboration with the UK, France, Morocco and Portugal to promote the language programmes, one of which is based around the Arabic language and Moroccan culture, and Ms Celaá has pointed out that “more than 60,000 students benefit each year from one of the four national language programmes” across Spain.
Currently, Arabic is taught in 354 Primary and Secondary schools in 11 autonomous communities and more than 7,100 students participate. Although it is primarily aimed at Moroccan students – it is funded by the Government of Morocco through the Hassan II Foundation, the Ministry of Education points out that it is open “to those interested in learning the Arab culture and language.”
Its objectives include “providing Moroccan students with training that allows them to safeguard their identity and their culture while respecting that of the host country” as well as helping to “promote intercultural education.”
The controversial Celaá Law was approved last November amidst great controversy over the marginal treatment it grants to Castilian, and the Minister has been heavily criticised for promoting foreign languages when the new law removes the reference to Spanish as a vehicular language in education.
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