Barbadian Children Should Be Bilingual

Sharon Austin Top Stories

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and Ambassador of Cuba to Barbados, Francisco Fernández Peña, in discussion during a recent farewell call at Government Headquarters. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley remains committed to ensuring that Barbadian children under the age of 18 are given an opportunity to become bilingual by 2030.

Ms. Mottley reiterated her vision recently when Ambassador of Cuba to Barbados, Francisco Fernández Peña, paid her a farewell courtesy call, at Government Headquarters. The Ambassador was accompanied by his wife, Ana Labaut de Dios.

The Prime Minister said Spanish would be the predominant language taught but children would also be exposed to others such as French and Mandarin. She proposed the idea of teacher exchanges between the two countries to help in that area. Ms. Mottley also suggested there should be exchanges in the cultural and sporting disciplines.

“Now that we have started to stabilize the economy, from next September we want to start looking at expanding the teaching of language in schools and I want us to discuss how best to make it a reality,” she stated.

Ambassador Peña agreed that allowing children to be exposed to foreign languages was important and said Cuba was keen to assist Barbados with the teaching of Spanish in schools. He noted that two Memoranda of Understanding had been signed last year between the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and the Ministry of Public Health, Cuba and the University of Havana.

He also highlighted some of the projects that were in train and Prime Minister Mottley promised to follow up and see where the country was in terms of implementing the projects.

During the wide-ranging discussions, Prime Minister Mottley and Ambassador Peña also spoke about matters pertaining to CARICOM and Cuba.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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