Brazilian Schools Will Teach Esperanto
Brazilian High Schools will be able to teach Esperanto officially.
The decision was made Tuesday, Sept. 15th 2009, by the Commission on Education, Culture and Sports of the Brazilian Senate.
The proposed law was written by Senator Cristovam Buarque, and says that offering classes in Esperanto will be obligatory when demand so justifies. Schools will have three years to conform to the law.
Buarque said that "if school wants to be an agent of peace," the teaching of Esperanto "can be an important factor, not only by the language that it offers but also by the spirit of pacifism that it symbolizes," and that "Esperanto is an instrument of communication among hundreds of millions of people around the world and more than that, it is part of an immense movement for peace."
"Hundreds of millions" may be an exaggeration, but not worse than the claim of Senator Gerson Camata, who voted against the proposal arguing that the project is useless, because "those who learn Esperanto will not have anyone with which to practice the new language."
Which I can personally testify just isn't true. I started using Esperanto thirty years ago, and have never had the slightest difficulty finding people with which to use it.
So even in Brazil, politicians do not always know what they are talking about.
Anyhow, the text was adopted as a final decision and goes straight to the board.
Brazil has twice hosted the Universal Congress of Esperanto, in Brasilia 1981 and Fortaleza 2002. I was there at both occasions.
For more info about Esperanto, see e. g.