Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam met with Portuguese Minister of Education Tiago Brandão Rodrigues last week. Topics discussed during the Lisbon meeting included strengthening cooperation between the two parties in areas such as education and sports, the office of the secretary noted in a statement.
Tam took the opportunity to thank the Portuguese government for supporting teachers’ training activities. He also noted the MSAR government’s continued support of local students’ growing interest in Portuguese language learning, citing the increased number of scholarships allocated, as well as the increasing numbers of summer courses or night classes.
The important role of the Portuguese School of Macau was also mentioned. The local government is supporting it in several ways, such as financially, or through training and the supply of Mandarin teachers.
On the Portuguese side, Rodrigues noted the progress achieved and work done since the previous meeting in September 2017, and stated the desire to intensify cooperation between the two parties, namely through the Confucius Institute, in order to consolidate the teaching of Chinese language in Portugal.
Tam noted that at the university level, the University of Macau now also possesses a more defined strategy regarding Portuguese language learning, and reaffirmed the SAR government’s intention to transform Macau into a Portuguese language-learning center by allocating funds and developing the necessary policies for its success.
Regarding cooperation in sport, both officials agreed to develop contacts so that a selection of sport teams from Portuguese schools could come to Macau to participate in several friendly matches during the 20 years after the handover celebrations.
Still, Tam noted that the Portuguese delegation participating in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games could also benefit from sports facilities in Macau, assisting them in adjusting to the conditions and time zone.
This suggestion was accepted by the Portuguese minister, who agreed that the opportunity could help both the Portuguese Olympic and Paralympic teams to adapt. RM