First Confucius Classroom Established by Confucius Institute in Kenya Inaugurates

[Source]    Xinhua News Agency [Time]    2017-05-17 13:29:59 

On May 10th, the Rusinga School Confucius Classroom established by the Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University officially inaugurated. Rusinga School Confucius Classroom was the first Confucius Classroom the Confucius Institute established in Kenya.

The opening ceremony of Rusinga School Confucius Classroom

Zhang Gang, Chief of the Information and Public Affairs Section of the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Kenya, Li Qiang and KamauWango, Chinese and Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University, attended the ceremony.

“For more than 40 years since the founding of Rusinga School, the contract with the Confucius Institute to open a Confucius Classroom is significant in the school’s history.” said Patricia Echessa, head of Rusinga School, in her speech. The school has a long history of educational and cultural exchanges with Chinese schools. The establishment of the Confucius Classroom in this School will greatly drive its internationalization.

Rusinga School is an international school consists of kindergarten, primary school and middle school, and it has offered Chinese lessons for students in many grades. Local Kenyan Chinese teachers have been giving these lessons. In this August , teachers and volunteers selected and sent by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) will arrive and assume their posts successively. “I hope that the Chinese teachers will stimulate new interest in learning Chinese among students of the Rusinga School Confucius Classroom.” said Patricia.

Li Qiang expressed in his speech that the establishment of Confucius Classroom in Rusinga School symbolizes that the Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University has introduced Chinese language education from higher education institutes to middle and primary schools. This will help local students to broaden their horizon, have a better understanding of China and go onto the world stage.

A group photo of guests, teachers and students of the Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University

During the opening ceremony, a dragon dance team composed of second grade students in Rusinga School gave its performance. The students are not that skilled on stage, but they were impressed the audience with the dance movements such as “two dragons jumping out of sea” and “fishtailing dragon in the air”. In the rhythmic drumbeats, the brightly dressed Kenyatta University Dance Team performed a vivid show with East African styles. The song-and-dance show “My Motherland and Me” given by teachers and students from the Confucius Institute won warm applause.

Teresa Yamenia, a tenth grade student in Rusinga told the reporter: “Among the language lessons such as Chinese, French and German offered by school now, my favorite one is Chinese. Despite the difficulties and challenges in learning Chinese, I am very interested in the Chinese culture.” She expected that the upcoming teachers from China will give them better Chinese language education, and hoped that she would have the opportunity to visit China one day.

The Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University was co-founded by Shandong Normal University and Kenyatta University in 2009. It was the second Confucius Institute China established in Kenya.

(Story by Jin Zheng & Sun Ruibo, Xinhua News Agency, Nairobi, May. 11th; Photo source: Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University)


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