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Ugandan high school students being taught Chinese

Reporter: Hillary Ayesiga 丨 CCTV.com

10-02-2016 11:31 BJT

In East Africa, Uganda is partnering with the Chinese government to train high school teachers in Mandarin. The country's education ministry is in the process of drafting a curriculum that will oversee the process.

Ugandan students are learning the Chinese language. Bit by bit, they're starting to understand the characters. Ugandan authorities want to expand this programme to more secondary schools.

"We are negotiating with Confucius Institute Makerere to also negotiate with the ministry of education in China so that we can at least get around three trainers from there who will come and train our one hundred teachers in Luyanzi college," Curriculum specialist Henry Adramunguni said.

This school has been training students in Mandarin for four years. Authorities here are upbeat about the government's new initiative.

"This is like a seed project. Even though we do not get enough teachers coming here, we are already training our local teachers so we may not depend much on teachers coming from China. We can sustain this programme," Luyanzi College principal Wang Lihong said.

This is one of 20 schools selected by the Ugandan government to pilot Mandarin lessons in class. Instructors here say learning to speak Mandarin could help open up employment opportunities for these students in the future.

The United Nations classifies the Chinese language as one of the six official international languages for work. And authorities believe it's a chance for Ugandans to become more competitive in the job market.

"Our major problem is making Ugandans competent enough to compete with others in the job market at the International level. So we cannot rule out the learning of Chinese when actually it is the language spoken by the majority of people on this earth," Adramunguni said.

China is one of Uganda's biggest trading partners. And the government believes that as more young people learn Mandarin, relations with China will only improve, enhancing business dealings in both countries.

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