Students from Aruba (Caribbean) visit Linguapax

Linguapax met a delegation of Pedagogy students from the Aruban Pedagogical Institute (IPA) on the occasion of their study visit to Barcelona to learn about the Catalan model of mother-language-based education and examine the prospects for implanting it in their island. Those future teachers are determined to contribute to reform their education system by introducing Papiamento, the mother tongue of over 66% of Aruba’s inhabitants, as the main language of instruction and so will report to their authorities.

Linguapax has offered to assess the Education department and government in their intent to promote the use of Papiamento in the educational system and other spheres of social use like the media. Another field of cooperation would be the production of multilingual teaching materials.

The Caribbean island of Aruba is a Dutch oversea territory with autonomous status. First inhabited by the Arawak tribe, it was colonized by Spain and later on by the Dutch. Aruba is therefore a very multilingual place, especially due to the influence of the surrounding English- and Spanish-speaking territories. However most of the population speaks Papiamento, a Portuguese-based creole including elements from English and African languages, which gained official status alongside Dutch in 2003 but remains practically out of the school system.

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