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Commissioner Den Heyer happy with green light for Papiamentu MBO-course

Kralendijk – Commissioner Nina den Heyer is pleased that the Second Chamber in The Netherlands has today agreed to allow the Bonaire School Community to also offer the Cook training MBO 3 and 4 in Papiamento. “This addresses to a wide-ranging wish in our community, but I also see it as a certain recognition for our language,” says Den Heyer.

It has been 3 years since the SGB approached the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science with the request to allow for the training to take place in Papiamentu. An amendment to the law appeared to be necessary, after which the House of Representatives also needed a lot of time to determine a position. “It took longer than hoped, but fortunately an overwhelming majority in Parliament voted in favor of the proposal. That is good news for chefs who want to grow at their place of employment  and for employers in the catering industry, who still often have to recruit workers from abroad. This is truly a win-win situation for everyone”, said Den Heyer. 


The Papiamento-language chef training is not the only ‘language battle’ that the Commissioner is waging. “The discussion on this has once again underlined the importance of our Papiamentu being included in the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. This is necessary to have Papiamentu recognized as a full time that deserves protection. The government has promised to do its best to make that happen. I keep my finger on the pulse to keep up the momentum”, says Den Heyer.

“Several languages ​​are spoken on Bonaire, but Papiamento is the language that connects us all. For this reason, we have agreed with the cabinet to set up an organization that will devote itself to the preservation and further development of Papiamento. In addition, we aim for all children to have a good command of the language when they leave primary school by 2030.”

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