Foreign Director of UJCI: Strengthen Educational Exchanges and Attach Importance to Language Study

[Source]    people.com.cn [Time]    2018-02-07 14:58:40 
 

At a recent interview with people.com.cn, David Monyae, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at the renowned University of Johannesburg (UJCI) expressed his views on issues such as the China-Africa education cooperation.

David said that China is leading Africa on education as well as has excellent college education and brilliant innovation capability. In particular, China’s achievements over the past 30 years have provided good models for Africa to learn from and refer to. Educational models in the continent need to absorb this framework if they want to solve the many challenges they face.

“Mandela once said that the power of education is broad-ranging and can contribute to nation-building and harmonious development.” “Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.” South Africa currently needs to strengthen its infrastructure construction and the maintenance of public facilities in places such as roads and airports also needs professionals who are educated and possess relevant skills. In terms of professional education, South Africa should learn approaches and methods from China on how to foster more professionals in this field.

David said the UJCI has also played an important role in educational exchanges between the two countries. Language is the bridge of interaction between the two peoples. The mandarin course is now becoming increasingly important in South Africa. An increasing number of South Africans want to learn Chinese, especially the young people. At present, the Confucius Institute offers Chinese courses, and also welcomes Chinese people to learn local languages in South Africa at the same time to further deepen the interaction and understanding between the two peoples. Secondly, the Confucius Institute is also helping people study abroad and learn about the cultures of different countries.

Over the past year, more than a thousand were beneficiaries of the Chinese language courses at the Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg, including local high school students, college students, and students enrolled in master degree programs. The courses offered include General Chinese, Business Chinese, and Travel Chinese. In the meantime, the martial arts course given by the institute has also attracted a great number of locals. It is estimated that the number of people enrolled in relevant courses this year will surpass that of last year.

Also according to David, the courses given by the Confucius Institute not only target students, but also are open to members of society. The deadline for registration of this year’s courses is on February 12th. Meanwhile, classes are held both from Monday to Friday and also on weekends, giving more options to different groups of people.

As David pointed out, “2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China. President Xi Jinping said that trade between the two countries will keep on uptrend and the relationship between the two peoples in many fields, such as culture, sports and education, will also continue to be strengthened.” He believed that the relations between South Africa and China and between the two peoples will get closer and more long-lasting under the premise of better culture communication between the two countries.

(Story by Wang Lei, people.com.cn, Johannesburg, February 2nd)