ISLAMABAD: Around 40 teachers from Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab were seen off by China’s acting ambassador Zhao Lijian on Sunday on a 15-day trip to China, to partake in the 2017 International Chinese Language Teacher Training Programme.
The faculty members would undergo different kinds of training by Chinese trainers at the Beijing International Education Exchange Center (BIEEC).
Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Arshad Ali was the chief guest on the occasion.
Addressing the reception, Zhao Lijian said that the 15-day trip is sponsored by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education (BMCE) and the Chinese embassy in Pakistan.
This is the third year that the Chinese embassy in Pakistan has sponsored the Pakistani participants, in collaboration with BMCE and BIEE.
“CPEC has been progressing comprehensively and entered into the stage of early harvest. It has become the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, and a new symbol of our deeply-rooted friendship,” he said.
He said that at this historic juncture, it is the common responsibility of the people of the two countries to pass on their friendship and bring more substance to their all-weather strategic cooperation.
He said that language is a bridge among different cultures – a bridge to bring our hearts closer to each other.
“Chinese is the official language of China and one of the six official languages of United Nations. Today there are nearly 1.5 billion people in the world who speak Chinese as their mother tongue. By the end of 2016, 511 Confucius Institutes will have been established in 140 countries,” the diplomat said and added that nearly 70 countries have included Chinese in their national education systems.
He said that both Chinese and Urdu are featured by their own culture and civilisation and if one could master the Chinese language, he will get a better understanding of the essence of the Chinese culture, its way of thinking and would be able to better communicate and work with their Chinese friends.
“Nowadays, the Pakistani friends are more eager to learn Chinese than ever before. Thanks to CPEC and our all-around cooperation, we need a large number of bilingual talents who could well understand both Pakistan and China. The Chinese government is working all out to promote the teaching of Chinese language and Chinese culture in Pakistan. Now, there are four Confucius Institutes and one Chinese Culture Center in Pakistan,” he said.
He said that the Chinese government is encouraging more Pakistani students to study in China and last year, 18,000 Pakistani students were studying in China, among them 5,081 students who are on Chinese government scholarships.
“Pakistan is the number one country in the number of students with Chinese government sponsored scholarships. Besides that, we are encouraging the teaching of Urdu language in China because we believe it is far better to have communication in a mutual way. According to my acknowledgement, now there are seven Universities in China that teach Urdu,” he added.
Zhao said that for the past three years, the Chinese embassy has sent 160 teachers to China under this programme from all the provinces and districts of Pakistan. “We will continue efforts to spread our friendship across Pakistan,” he concluded.
Dr Arshad Ali said that the Chinese support for educational research network was a welcome sign. He said that the PM’s Laptop scheme is designed by China and an assembling plant is set up in Lahore.
Ms Bushra Arshad, a teacher from Balochistan, expressed gratitude to Diana Bao, the wife of the Chinese ambassador, who had worked hard to arrange this trip. She said that such initiatives would prove to be a healing touch for the people of Balochistan.