LUSAKA, July 20 (Xinhua) — Zambia’s secondary school students from different parts of the country have participated in the finals of a Chinese language proficiency competition held in Lusaka, the country’s capital.
Ten students from different schools teaching the Chinese language in all the country’s 10 provinces participated in the Zambia final of the 12th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students during a colorful event held on Friday at the Confucius Institute University of Zambia (UNZA).
The competition saw the students showcasing their Chinese language skills, dance and culture, with Nadine Kayuba Chikwekwe merging as the overall winner.
She will represent Zambia at the finals in China.
Lai Bo, charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Zambia, said he was delighted to see young Zambians learning the Chinese language, adding that it was a sign the Mandarin fever was on the rise.
He hoped that more Zambian students could make the most of the opportunity to learn Chinese and contribute their talent to the friendly exchanges between the two countries.
The Chinese envoy said his government was proud of the all-weather friendship that has existed between the two countries in the last 55 years and looking forward to future development of the relation with full confidence.
According to him, people-to-people exchange has been one of the important pillars of the relation and that Chinese language teaching has played an indispensable role.
“Learning Chinese can help you not only step on the bridge leading to the Chinese culture, but also enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries,” he said.
Luke Mumba, UNZA Vice-Chancellor, said Chinese learning has become an important part of the relationship between the African people and the Chinese people and that it has helped Africans know more about China.
In a speech read on his behalf by Nkumbu Nkonde Director of Business Development, the vice-chancellor said it was for this reason that the Zambian government has established the offering of Chinese as one of the three optional languages in the country.
He said in 2014, the Ministry of General Education started offering the teaching of Chinese in 10 secondary schools and that the ministry, in partnership with the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China and the Confucius Institute at UNZA, have been developing a curriculum for junior and secondary schools in the country.
Mundia Mwendende, Principal Curriculum Specialist Language at the curriculum Development Center in the Ministry of General Education, said the government was happy to see more students taking up Chinese language and hoped that the competition will motivate other students to take up learning Chinese.