By Sanae Kiunsi
THE Confucius Institute at the University of Namibia (UNAM) celebrated its 5th anniversary last Friday. The institute is a non-profit public educational organisation affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, whose aim is to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges. The event was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, President of the China University of Geosciences, professors, lecturers and UNAM students. The Confucius Institute, which was established in 2013, prides itself in the progress attained over the years, realising full coverage of university, secondary and primary school. Confucius has trained nearly 2 800 people and the Chinese language has become a credit course in UNAM. Ambassador Yiming said he hoped to see more Namibians seizing the opportunity to learn Chinese and apply it in practice. “As far as I know, some Chinese companies in Namibia experience a shortage of persons who know the Chinese language. There is no doubt that the ones who have learned Chinese will become the employers’ prior choice,” Ambassador Yiming said. The ambassador further cited China’s economic advancement as a factor that makes learning Chinese language even more relevant for a country like Namibia. “China is an ancient civilisation with a long history of 5,000 years. With the robust economy growth and the increasingly extensive international exchanges, the demand for learning Chinese has increased dramatically and thus emerged “Mandarin Fever” in some countries,” Ambassador Yiming said. There are currently more than 500 Confucius Institutes and over 1000 Confucius classrooms in the world. There are 54 Confucius Institutes and 30 Confucius classrooms among 41 African countries, where 1.4 million students have been trained, making Africa the most efficient area in the Institute’s global management. The Confucius Institute has held Chinese Bridge -Chinese Proficiency Competitions, both at college and secondary school levels, organised summer camps to China, introduced HSK test-(Chinese Proficiency test) and established the first radio to introduce China named “Hello, China!” which has become the platform to learn Chinese and thereby Chinese culture.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015