Albania plans TV language courses for diaspora

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri Feb 24 19:59:36 UTC 2006

>>From the Southeast European Times:

Published on SETimes (

Albania plans TV language courses for diaspora

The education ministry is seeking to use satellite programming as a way to
teach the children of Albanians abroad about their language and culture.
By Erlis Selimaj for Southeast European Times in Tirana -- 24/02/06

The language programmes will be broadcast via satellite.  The Albanian
Education Ministry is launching a new initiative aimed at teaching the
Albanian language to the children of Albanian citizens residing in other
countries. The ministry says this could be realised through specific
television programmes aired by stations broadcasting on satellite. The
programming would be beamed to Great Britain, Greece, Italy and other
countries where a significant population of Albanian immigrants exists.

"This is a responsibility of the Albanian state, aiming to teach the
immigrants' children their mother tongue and giving them information about
the Albanian culture," says Education Minister Genc Pollo. He said
discussions are under way with various satellite networks. Albanians
abroad have long requested such an initiative, expressing concerns that
their children are losing touch with their roots. Currently, Tirana has
limited funding resources for educating expatriate children, and producing
TV programmes is a less costly option than establishing Albanian-language
schools, say education ministry experts.

Last year, an Albanian immigrants' organisation proposed that the ministry
use a combination of television programming and textbooks to reach
children residing in other countries. "The aim of our initiative is to
teach the children the language and the culture using a TV programme,
because establishing a school needs funds and time. The electronic media
is a good possibility, fast and efficient,"  the organisation says. The
project has been approved by the Albanian Foreign Ministry and is now
being considered by the Council of Ministers.

Albanian language courses already exist in Italy, mainly in the cities
where immigant populations are concentrated. Recently, Greece has shown
interest in setting up schools for Albanian immigrants, as part of a
bilateral initiative under which Greek language courses would be provided
for the Greek minority in southern Albania.

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