BRAVO TO BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES

Morales moves to empower indigenous languages
Tue, 04 Aug 2009 21:09:58 GMT
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Supporters throw confetti at Bolivian President Evo Morales.
President Evo Morales, in a move to empower Bolivian aboriginal culture, has decided to force government officials to learn an indigenous language.

According to a mandate, the government has set up a language program to teach officials an indigenous language in addition to Spanish.

Since coming into power in 2006, Morales – Bolivia’s first indigenous president – has pursued a policy to elevate the status of indigenous culture.

The move came in line with the newly-approved constitution that urged all officials to achieve fluency in an indigenous language – the Aymara and Quechua native tongues.

Bolivian teachers have also welcomed the plan and believe it will give a boost to the indigenous culture.

“It’s extremely important (that Aymara be taught in state institutions). And this must continue so that the Aymara culture lives on and be viewed on the same level as Spanish and English,” Lorenza Cosme, who teaches Aymara at the Bolivian Telecommunications Ministry in La Paz, told Reuters.

Official figures show some 3,600 federal government officials have registered to attend the classes to learn an indigenous language.

It is expected that the number will grow to 277,000 federal workers in five years’ time.

DB/HGL

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