Iceland’s former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir signed a bill today to become the official protector of the Ancient Languages department at the Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík high school, RÚV reports.
A ceremony took place this morning at Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík, with the school’s Acting Rector Linda Rós Michaelsdóttir and Vigdís signing the document in front of the entire student body and teaching staff. Also present was the newly elected Inspector Scholae, Birna Ketilsdóttir Schram.
The downtown high school has recently felt pressure from school officials to shut down the department in order to shorten the length of upper secondary studies. However Vigdís says that ancient languages are important as they form the basis for the languages we speak today. “There is so much knowledge stored in these languages that we must preserve,” Vigdís says.
Vigdís has long been a proponent of language education and foreign languages in particular. Most notably, the University of Iceland’s foreign language department officially bears her name.