The regional government of Cusco has issued an ordinance that requires all schools to teach Quechua, the official language of the Incan Empire that is still spoken by approximately 13% of Peruvians, or about 4 million people.The initiative seeks to restore interest and passion in the region´s cultural heritage while reversing any type of social stigma that surrounds the language. Centuries of oppression carried out by state and colonial forces have left many local people feeling ashamed to speak, let alone teach, their native language. As a requirement for completion of their certificate or degree, all students from primary to university levels must take both oral and written Quechua classes. If English is mandatory nationwide, the argument goes, why not the language that would best connect locals with their cultural roots, especially given the fact that much of the region admires and promotes Incan culture, whether for tourism or other reasons. Quechua is the most widely-spoken language amongst indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of between 8 and 10 million speakers. The Regional Government of Cusco has now taken the initiative to protect this language and preserve it for future generations.