Enter the Dragon
Zimbabwe is taking a hard look at the future:
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare) January 22, 2006 Godfrey Mutimba
University students around the country should brace themselves for the tongue-twisting and difficult to write Mandarin (Chinese language), as government wants to introduce it as part of its controversial “Look East” policy, The Standard has learnt.
Zimbabwe embarked on the widely derided “Look East” policy after falling out with its former European trading partners.
Speaking at an international conference of the transformation of Masvingo State University to Great Zimbabwe National University, Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Stan Mudenge, said the government intends to offer a curriculum that will see students from all universities in the country taking Chinese in a bid to promote tourism and trade between the two countries. Mudenge revealed that he had already held meetings aimed at making this a reality.
He said: “At a recent meeting I held in Paris with my counterpart the Chinese minister of education, we agreed to intensify our programmes in the field of education, cultural exchange programmes including language training. “The compelling need to bring our two peoples together could be strengthened by introducing studies e.g. teaching of Chinese as a foreign language as well as learning Chinese history. Our universities have an important role in this regard.” He ordered vice chancellors from various universities that attended the conference to make frantic efforts to introduce the subject before year-end.