The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Columbia held a graduation ceremony at the Ministry’s conference room on December 11, 2019. The ceremony was to recognize the 34 public servants who participated in a training programme entitled “Dissemination of the Colombian culture through the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language” offered through the University of Pontificia Bolivariana, of the Republic of Columbia.
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Remarks were delivered by Mr. Bernard John, Training Officer of the Services Commissions Department and Professor Jose Orlando Gomez Salazar. During his remarks, Hon. Sir Louis Straker, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commercethanked Professor Salazar, the Service Commissions Department and all those entities that played their role in making the initiative a success. Hon. Minister Strakerexpressed special thanks to the Government of Columbia for expanding the people-to-people exchanges in further strengthening the diplomatic ties between both countries. Sir Louis also expressed the importance of connectivity and communication, which are two important elements in travelling and enhancing career opportunities. He therefore encouraged the students to know that being bilingual is an important tool that is marketable for today’s working environment and thus, encouraged the students to continue in the next round in order to sharpen their Spanish speaking skills.
The 3-month training programme was held from September to December, 2019 and exposed the public servants to not only learning to write, read and speak Spanish but afforded them the opportunity to be exposed to the people and culture of Columbia. Cohort 1 of the speaking Spanish programme was conducted by Professor Jose Orlando Gomez Salazar from the University of Pontificia Bolivariana. Cohort 2 is expected to continue in the new year.