In an effort to prepare Tatipota’s youth to meet the challenges of an increasingly globalised world, a specialised center will soon be offering local students courses in foreign languages at affordable prices. Named after famed philologist Okalipto Mendoza, the center is located at the very heart of the capital, not too far from the Presidente Jorge Tatipero nose clinic, and it boasts five comfortable classrooms fully equipped with pencil, paper, and erasers. Its program features undergraduate courses in English, Somali, Yoruba, and Bengali.
However, some complaints have arisen with regard to what appears to be the new institute’s lack of academic staff.
“We’re still looking for someone who can handle Somali,” confirms director Pachinko Mendoza. “But we do have a teacher who knows Bengali, because his wife is a sitar player.”
In reality, it isn’t only the teaching of the Somali language that is causing problems to the Center. Tatipotans are notoriously inept at mastering foreign tongues, and even English speakers are very scarce in the country. Only last month, the European Secretary for Overseas Trips had to cancel his working visit to Tatipota because local authorities weren’t able to provide him with an English interpreter, the only qualified one having been struck down by piles.
The suggestion has therefore been put forward to consider less exotic idioms.
“Our health minister is known to speak some French, for having been brought up by the Canadian nuns before they were expelled,” remarks Ms Mendoza, “but we haven’t planned to teach French because Tatipotans don’t really want to sing Frère Jacques, and also we wouldn’t be able to provide the minister with an official car.”
“However, we won’t let the lack of teachers stop our activities,” she confidently adds. “As a matter of fact, we’re successfully replacing the missing staff with radio sets. We’ve already equipped three classrooms with them, and are looking for two more, after which we’ll certainly be ready to go. Young Tatipotans are very smart and they’ll pick up any language in no time if they just get to hear enough of it.”
Education minister Alfabeto Tatipero appears to share her optimism, because he has announced that he’ll be inaugurating the center himself to show support for the initiative.
“Mind you, we’re looking for a large pair of golden scissors to cut the ribbon with,” says a Ministry spokesman, “but that shouldn’t be too difficult to come across, in this increasingly globalised world.”