May 18, 2024
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Teachers’ Motivation Improves School Performance – Alupo

By Michael Odeng

The Chinese government has pledged continued support to the teaching of Chinese language in Uganda. 

The move, according to China, is aimed at strengthening co-operation and collaboration.

Deputy head of mission at the Chinese Embassy to Uganda, Chen Huixin, said the embassy is working closely with the education ministry to implement the joint project of teaching the Chinese language in Uganda.

“Our purpose here is to support Ugandan institutions including Makerere University Confucius Institute and the Luyanzi Institute of Technology to advance the teaching of Chinese language. Since 2018 throughout the pandemic, we had trained about 100 local Chinese teachers in Uganda and last year, 40 more graduated from Makerere University,” Huixin says.

“We are working to facilitate the local teaching of more 500 local teachers under the second phase of training support to strengthen the collaboration between the two countries,” he added.

Speaking during the International Chinese Language Day celebrations on Saturday April 22, 2023, at Luyanzi Institute of Technology in Bweyogerere, Wakiso district, Huixin said the Chinese Language Day is a United Nations Day observed specifically by UNESCO on every April 20.

The day was established by the UN Department of Public Information in 2010, seeking to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as promote equal use of all the six official working languages throughout the organization.

“The day allows an opportunity to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity with a major focus on Chinese. On this day, we experience the different aspects of the Chinese culture such as the food, dance, music, kungfu, paper cutting, painting writing Chinese characters, among others,” Huixin said.

At Luyanzi Institute of Technology, the event was used to rally more Ugandans to learn the Chinese language better in order to transact with the Chinese who have succeeded in trade, technology and health innovations.

“Since the world became a global village, we need to diversify and connect with speakers of a language that has over two billion speakers like Chinese which was welcomed by over 80 countries,” Eng. Sooma Ayub, the director of Luyanzi Institute of Technology, said.

According to Sooma, cultural diversity cannot be talked about theoretically because its objective is to promote language, multilingualism and cultural diversity in the people of the world.

“I am a living example of such diversity right from my house where my wife is Chinese and have several children. Whenever you have more international languages, you become more dominant at the globe in transacting business and promoting tourism,” he said.

China, he said is becoming an economic superpower saying it is important for Uganda to associate its self with such a big economy, which has got a lot in construction, business, clothes, companies, industrial pack among others.

“We must strategise to put the Ugandan youths to learn Chinese language in order to benefit from the companies which are here such that they are employed  

Instead of China bringing their own people, we need to make our Ugandans ready to communicate with experts such that they are able to take up these jobs, “he said

Under the partnership with the Confucius Institute of Makerere University and Luyanzi Institute of Technology, Sooma said they are training secondary school teachers Chinese language who will be mandated to teach Chinese in secondary schools countrywide.

So far, we have trained 143 teachers deployed in about 60 secondary schools across the country although he said the number is still low.

Sooma implored the education ministry to give more attention to teaching of the Chinese language right from the lower primary level saying it will strategically help in addressing unemployment as it will help the youth to tap into all the opportunities within the Chinese investments.

According to Dr Gilbert Gumoshabe, the Ugandan Director of the Chinese Confucius Institute Makerere University, since the world has become a global village, multilingualism is very important as it has several opportunities it comes with.

At Makerere University, Gumoshabe said they are teaching a bachelor’s in Chinese and Asian studies in the Chinese language and so far, 140 teachers have been trained to teach Chinese at any level.

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