Macau | Costa Nunes kindergarten joins free education system

Kindergarten D. José da Costa Nunes will be part of the Macau free education system in 2019, a step to guarantee "financial stability" without interfering with the "unique characteristics" of the institution, it was announced today

“We need to ensure financial stability. Every year we need to guarantee the minimum amount of money so that the operation [of the institution] is regular and of high quality, ” said Miguel de Senna Fernandes, president of the Association for the Promotion of Macanese Education (AIPIM).

Opened in 1999, Costa Nunes is the only private institution in Macau with pre-school education in Portuguese.

Since then, a financing model has been subsidized by the Government and, mainly, by the Macau Foundation, which did not guarantee the “necessary predictability in terms of accounts and budgets”, stressed the President of APIM.

The new scenario will allow the institution to receive a subsidy up to a maximum amount of MOP950,000 (US$118,088) per class, contributing, according to the Government, to alleviate the financial effort of the caretakers.

For the APIM representative, integration into the free education system is “a good way and the right decision”.

Miguel de Senna Fernandes spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the “signing ceremony of the commitment to integrate into the school system of compulsory schooling”, between APIM and the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ).

The inclusion in the school system of free schooling, which will take effect as of September 1, 2019, does not presuppose “changes” in the functioning of the school, which “has very ounique characteristics”, he assured.

“The kindergarten has very own characteristics, different from any other similar education here in Macau. We insist that this will be maintained. We were assured by the DSEJ that it does not interfere in philosophy and in the educational project itself. This is fundamental,” he said.

Senna Fernandes recalled that, “for historical reasons, [the school] exists to ensure a community: Macanese and Portuguese. These are non-negotiable priorities”.

“I insist, this garden exists to ensure the Portuguese language, with its adaptations, and to ensure the minimum that is of the community to which it refers. This was the key point of our decision to enter the system, “he concluded.

Kindergarten D. José da Costa Nunes is the only private institution in Macau with pre-school education, between the ages of 2 and 6, in Portuguese. The school was inaugurated on January 1, 1999 by the last Portuguese governor of the territory, General Vasco Rocha Vieira.