Gov't officers complete Spanish training programme

Sunday, March 13, 2016

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Fourteen Jamaicans have completed a six-month pre-intermediate Spanish Language Training Programme, offered by the Government of Argentina.
The programme was conducted in Jamaica by four professors from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, and entailed classroom instructions and virtual teaching modules.
Certificates of participation were presented to the graduates, drawn from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), at a closing ceremony held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s offices on Dominica Drive, New Kingston, yesterday, March 12.
The event also recognised Foreign Service Officer of the MFAFT, Vonroy Rochester, who received a post-graduate diploma after completing the 2015 Diplomatic Studies Programme and language training, co-hosted by the Argentine National Foreign Service Institute, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Permanent Secretary in Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Paul Robotham, hailed the partnership facilitating the language training programme in Jamaica.
He said the collaboration was forged following discussions involving Argentine Ambassador to Jamaica, Ariel Fernandez, regarding a South-South cooperation programme to initially teach Spanish to the ministry’s staff.
“He was very excited, very receptive, and obviously took it very seriously, and made a representation to his government; and here we are today, a year later, at this graduation ceremony,” he said, adding that the course was eventually expanded to include personnel from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Permanent Secretary also thanked the Argentine Ambassador for spearheading arrangements to have the four visiting professors deliver the course.
“We are very happy for having such valuable cooperation from the government of Argentina. We talk about South-South cooperation and we talk about integration and development and when it actually happens, it’s so gratifying. We…pay tribute to the government and people of Argentina for lending the hand of friendship and solidarity to Jamaica,” Ambassador Robotham said.
In his remarks, Ambassador Ariel Fernandez said the Embassy of Argentina in Jamaica has a “moral obligation” to narrow the gap of knowledge between the two countries, adding that his government will continue to support the Spanish language programme.
He also hailed the role played by Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in strengthening diplomatic relations between the countries.
Ambassador Fernandez also congratulated the graduates for completing the programme, and urged them to use every opportunity to speak the language.
“It is our obligation (and) it is your obligation to continue…the only path is to continue. You are receiving a pre-intermediate certification about your status in Spanish but you have to continue upgrading the level of your knowledge in Spanish,” he added.

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