FORM four students from 16 government schools are for the first time scheduled to sit a Chinese language national exam.
This was after the initiative led by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training to establish Chinese language lessons taught in various government secondary schools across the country from January 2016.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and vocational Training Dr Ave Maria Semakafu stated that the students would sit the exam after studying the language for four years.
She said that the initiative enabled the government to send teachers from various government schools and from the Institute of Education for a 10 month course who thereafter started teaching the language in government schools.
"For the first time this year, Form Four students from 16 government schools will sit the language's national exam, this is a great success," Dr Semakafu said.
He was speaking in Morogoro as he launched the Chinese language centre at the Muslim University of Morogoro (MUM) through the Confucius Institute.
Likewise, the ministry also intends to select Marangu Teachers College in Kilimanjaro region to conduct Chinese language courses for teachers who would subsequently be deployed to various government schools to teach the subject, according to her.
"Currently, the ministry is holding negotiations with the Confucius Institute to introduce Chinese language to be among the subjects taught at Marangu Teachers College, like the way English and Swahili are taught," she stated.
Dr Semakafu stated further that the initiative to send teachers for a 10 month training stint had accelerated the move to make Marangu Teaching College to be a training centre of the language for teachers of government schools. She further commended the Confucius institute for teaching the Chinese language at the University of Dodoma (UDOM), University of Dar es salaam (UDSM), and MUM.
"MUM has shown great progress that led to the establishment of an official Chinese language centre," She added.
The Secretary of Language Department of the Chinese Embassy Z ha'ng Bing, said that Tanzania and China had a long relationship that was initiated by the nation's founding fathers Mwalimu Nyerere and Mao Z edong.
"The institute has enabled 13 0 Chinese teachers from China to teach the language in Tanzania, with over 17,000 Tanzanians learning the language in China," he revealed.
Meanwhile, Chancellor of the University Ambassador Professor Abilahi Omar said that the university has had great success including the increase of student registration in various first degree courses offered including Chinese language.
"Many of the students registered for Chinese language have been able to get scholarships to further their studies on the language in various universities in China," he added.