The establishment of the Confucius Institute in the University of Malawi (UNIMA) will help promote collaboration and partnership between the Malawi and Chinese governments through education and cultural exchange, officials said on Friday.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the institute at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) Lecture Hall in Lilongwe, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano said China and Malawi are engaged in a number of partnerships that are going to benefit from this initiative.
Confucius Institute is a language school affiliated to the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China aimed at promoting Chinese language and culture, support and facilitation of cultural exchanges.
“There are a lot of Malawians training in China, the interaction in trade, health and the contribution of the Chinese government in development activities through grants and loans. The establishment of the institute, which will be the centre of teaching of Chinese language and culture through formal and non-formal approaches at the university and other non academic institutions, is in line with Malawi education policy which is encouraging students to learn more than one international language.
“We want students and all people to learn as many foreign languages as possible in order to increase their opportunities of work and doing business,” Fabiano said.
The minister allayed fears that the Chinese language and culture may be a threat to the Malawian culture saying the Chinese joins other languages already taught in universities.
“English is the medium of communication in Malawi because we had the British. But we have also been teaching French, Latin and Greek in some schools. So Chinese is just one of the so many languages that we are promoting in the country,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chinese ambassador to Malawi Shing Ting Wang said the global status of China as the second largest economy has increased the demand of people wishing to learn Chinese language and culture.
“For us to meet this demand, we are setting up language schools through the Confucius Institute so that other nations should not miss out on opportunities and promising futures available in China,” he said.
Wang further said the institute will also serve as a place of cultural interaction between Malawians and Chinese people hence the benefits being mutual.
The Confucius Institute has over 500 schools around the world and it is expected in Malawi, the institute will mainstream the teaching of the Chinese language in schools, colleges and other institutions that deal with international cooperation and interaction like the police and Immigration.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :