Colombia announces learning of African language in schools

Colombia announces learning of African language in schools

Colombian Vice-President Francia Marquez announced that Swahili will be taught to Afro-descendants or those who want to learn this “vernacular” language of East Africa.

The decision was made after she returned from an official trip to Africa, which took her to South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia.

She announced that Colombian teachers will go to teach Spanish in Africa and that Kenyan teachers will come to teach Swahili.

“It’s important, for the construction of roots and historical memory,” said Francia Marquez.

However, the announcement sparked an outcry from the conservative right.

The debate was a little more balanced on media: “Colombians speak English very badly, why teach them Swahili? asked a former Minister of Education.

Other critics have pointed out that the ancestors of the Afro-descendant Colombians were enslaved Africans from West Africa and that the country therefore has no connection with Swahili.

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