The Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) has excused the reaction of Macau students on a Portuguese television program, saying they were the result of no advance notification being given.
In February, upon invitation, the SAR government led a group of 70 local students and teachers from secondary schools to participate in a Spring Festival broadcast TV program in Portugal.
During the broadcast, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam was asked whether the local students, who had been invited as dancers, knew any Portuguese words.
Tam said “yes, of course.” However, when the host turned to the students, inviting them to speak some Portuguese, none of them volunteered to speak. One student, eventually pressured to talk on the microphone, was not able complete a full Portuguese sentence to introduce herself.
During yesterday’s TDM Macau forum, one participant expressed concerns regarding the students’ performance.
The acting head of DSEJ’s Division of School Sports and Youth Activities, Luís Gomes, explained that during their rehearsal the students were only told they were going to dance and that they had not been told about any interview or communication component. The team had also not assigned a specific student to be interviewed.
According to Luís Gomes, the students were unable to react quickly when they were questioned by the host in front of the camera. Gomes also claimed that this group of students were more focused on studying dance, and as such, not all of them had studied Portuguese, therefore it was understandable that they felt nervous in the face of such questions.
The DSEJ representative additionally remarked that there are 4,400 students studying Portuguese through courses or extension courses. JZ