UZ earns top award

HARARE - Critical organisations and institutions in Zimbabwe should be taught Chinese to bridge the linguistic barrier between Harare and Beijing, a University of Zimbabwe (UZ) official said.

Director of Confucius Institute (CI) Professor Pedzisai Mashiri said UZ would want to engage government in such a programme as it would prove beneficial to all parties involved.

“Organisations such as the army, immigration, courts, media and commerce should engage in Chinese lessons because it will be helpful in value addition during negotiating processes with China,” he said.

The CI director said with the boom in Chinese investment in Zimbabwe, learning the language will make communication easier and effective.

UZ was recently honoured with an Excellent Institutes and Classrooms award for 2012 by the CI.

It is the only Institute in Africa to receive the award out of a total of 400 global CI’s. The award was in recognition of the outstanding performance in teaching Chinese language and culture as well as training local Chinese teachers and promoting student exchange programmes.

CI at UZ will by July 2013 be the only institute in the world to have seven local lecturers with formal training in teaching Chinese as a foreign language after obtaining Masters degrees.

Professor Mashiri said what was unique about the programme at UZ is that they offer Chinese at undergraduate degree level either as a major or a minor.

“We are the only university in Africa to offer Chinese as a standalone degree and we are also the first university in the world to have the largest number of local teachers to be studying towards a master’s degree in Chinese,” he said.

“Six teachers have already enrolled into the masters programme in China and will be completing by July this year and one is currently studying towards a PhD.”

Mashiri said the university will in the future engage with government to try and have a policy whereby Chinese will be taught in schools much like French and other foreign languages. - Helen Kadirire

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.