East Africa is Welcoming Mandarin Chinese Lessons With ‘Open Arms’
Learning Mandarin in African classrooms will soon be a common phenomenon as many countries are including the language in their school curriculums as they Global Institute of Chinese Language has pledged to train teachers to face the challenge of teaching this language.
On top of the existing international languages in most African school circulars, such as English, French, Arabic, Latin and German, African countries will soon be adding Chinese to this list and this move has fully been backed up by the Chinese government.
The Ugandan Ministry of Education’s National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC) has reportedly approved that it will start rolling out Mandarin language lessons to its secondary school curriculum. The ministry has partnered with the Chinese government which has supplied materials and has trained the teachers to lead the classes which are poised to be made compulsory.
Late last year, The Kenyan curriculum development institute (KICD) also confirmed that the design and scope of the mandarin syllabus have been completed and will be rolled in out in 2020 and Madrian will be taught to students from as low as elementary school.
However, Uganda and Kenya are also just a drop in the ocean of the many countries that have continued to include Mandarin in their curriculum it should be noted that South Africa too introduced Mandarin lessons in some schools in the past years.
This seemingly growing move to introduce Mandarin in African schools comes at a time when Africa-Chinese relations continue to soar, so is the China’s “Belt and Road” initiative to become a global trade leader and developing African economies’ such as fund transportation infrastructure. Pundits have also claimed that this is a move by African countries to fully accommodate their biggest creditor, China!
It should also be noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion late last year to the continent in loans, grants, and development financing. He also further announced eight initiatives aimed at improving Sino-Africa relations, including investments in healthcare, education, security, cultural exchanges, and increasing non-resource imports from Africa. Could there be more than just mandarin lessons coming or?