14 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Chinese Scholars to Study Shona

CHINESE scholars at Remin University may soon study Shona as a foreign language, Confucius Institute (CI) director Professor Pedzisai Mashiri has revealed. Speaking at the Confucius Institute of the Year awards ceremony in Harare last week, Prof Mashiri said 14 Zimbabwean students were currently studying for Masters Degrees in Chinese at Remin.

Seven local lecturers received full one-year scholarships from the Chinese government and will graduate in July.

"In promoting cultural exchange, we aim to introduce Shona as a second language in China.

"The CI is in the process of engaging Government to incorporate Chinese in school syllabi," he said.

Prof Mashiri implored Government to put in place policies that would provide short-term Chinese courses to critical departments such as the army, police, courts and agricultural sectors to improve industry and commerce through communication and trade.

The CI at the UZ, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in November last year, received the Confucius Institute of the Year award at the Annual International Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing, China, in December in recognition of outstanding performance in teaching the Chinese language and culture and promoting student exchange.

The award is given to 20 excellent Confucius Institutes from African, Asian, European, Australian, Oceanic and North and South American regions. Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Lin Lin said the CI at the UZ opened with only two teachers and 30 students.

"The CI at UZ now has five classrooms, nine teachers and 700 students.

"This award recognises the institution's outstanding performance in teaching Chinese language, spreading Chinese culture, training local Chinese teachers and promoting student exchange," he said.

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