A three-month long course on Chinese language for Lesotho government officials was opened at the Chinese Confucius classroom (culture and language centre) established within the Machabeng College in Maseru on Tuesday.
The course has been organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in Maseru to provide basic knowledge on the Chinese language to government officials so that they can enhance their communication with the Chinese community at home and around the globe.
Addressing the government officials drawn from different ministries, the Deputy Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Mr. Thabang Lekhela said it is a necessity now to learn Chinese language not only allow better the locals to communicate easily with the Chinese community in African countries but it is also important to learn it as it is one of the six international languages recognised by the United Nations.
He said it is also important to understand each other's language and culture as that will break the communication barrier while at the same time promoting effective service delivery to the Chinese community already staying in different parts of the country.
He said the course is yet another milestone achieved between Lesotho and China to ensure that they meet the commitment of mutual cultural exchanges for both countries.
Mr. Lekhela said Chinese people have now become the global entrepreneurs and it is high time African appreciate to learn their language for communication purposes.
He congratulated this first group of trainees and also thanked Machabeng College for providing the facility to be used during the training.
Also speaking was the Mr. Song Changqing, the Political Counselor from the Chinese Embassy who said learning Chinese language is becoming a fashion in African countries saying there are 170 countries worldwide where the Chinese language training is being provided adding that 60 African countries governments have incorporated it in their national education curriculum.
He cited countries such as the neighbouring South Africa, Mauritius, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Cameroon to mention a few.
Mr. Song pointed out that Chinese is one of the six working languages in the United Nations hence the need to learn it for future benefits.
He said the rising interest of the international community to China demonstrates that there is really a need for people to learn the language so as to understand the chinese people and their culture better.
The Chinese Director of Confucius classroom at Machabeng College Mr. Yu Ji outlined that the training will provide basic knowledge on Chinese language adding that it has six levels.
At the ceremony Chinese teachers who will facilitate the training were also introduced while the officials were also given a glimpse of the language beginning with how to greet in Chinese.