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What Are Your Thoughts on the Planned Introduction of Chinese Language in the Curriculum of Lagos State Public Schools?

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Yesterday in Lagos, the State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye announced the planned introduction of Mandarin, or Chinese language, in public schools’ curriculum as from next session.

After a meeting with the delegation from the Chinese Confucius Institute, University of Lagos, the Commissioner said that learning the language in the state’s public schools would be an opportunity for the pupils and students to speak the language and be able to adapt to the Chinese culture.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Institute, Prof. Caleb Orimoogunje, said the institution was ready to assist the state with necessary logistics to make the teaching and learning of the language easier and that Prof. Lirong Jiang, a co-director of the institute, would help in the take-off of the programme.

Prof. Jiang further noted that the language became necessary because China had become the new destination for economic growth and technological development.
 “The knowledge of Chinese language will help students to further their studies in China and carry out research in various fields of human endeavour as China has become a success story in the world economy,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Jiang as saying in the statement.

***

Ever since the news broke, there have been arguments for and against the planned introduction. While some say the teaching of Chinese Language is welcome and would help the students compete favourably on a world platform, others say it would encourage brain drain. Also, some people argue that the state government has not yet perfected the teaching of Nigerian languages in schools and should rather focus on that.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think the introduction of Chinese language in the curriculum of Lagos public schools is a welcome development? And if you do, how would this help the students?

Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

74 Comments

  1. lol

    September 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

    i think it a great idea, china is becoming one of the fastest growing economy..it would give them a edge and all..it good for the country!!

    • Usaveone

      September 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

      ….you think its a great idea..? Hmmmm!

      Check: http://usaveone.blogspot.com

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you, I am with you… GREAT IDEA… My sis speaks mandarin very well and got a scholarship to got to China. Most Chinese people are impressed her Mandarin. it is pretty good and am impressed. She can read and write. she is one of the best students in her class both here and China.

      I am so for it and I intend on learning this semester. xxx As people have said, china is the next big thing. so far I can say hello, my name, goodbye and possibly thank you in Mandarin.

      http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Pls post this comment instead. previous one was a blunder

      Thank you, I am with you… GREAT IDEA… My older sister speaks mandarin very well, in fact she got a scholarship to study in one of China prestigious University. Most Chinese people including Non-Chinese are impressed with her Mandarin. It is pretty good and am impressed, her pronunciation is on point. She can read and write in Mandarin and she is one of the best students in her class both here and in China. So yeah, am advertising her small sha but trying to let you know it does give you an edge, a Nigerian sister speaking Mandarin, people take two steps back @ first.lol.

      I am so for it and I intend on learning this semester. xxx As some people have said, China is the next big thing globally and financially.

      So far I can say hello, my name, goodbye and possibly thank you in Mandarin.
      lol. People can easily pick their own language its not an issue, WATCH YORUBA MOVIES EVERYDAY. LOL kidding oh. xxx
      http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Reilly

      November 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      So that you know, the picture above is of the Japanese language.

  2. iyabo

    September 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

    definitely in favor. China has overcome quite a lot to become the success it has today. It has lifted many of citizens out of poverty and Nigeria can learn a lot from it. Learning Mandarin will be useful to our children as China provides an alternative to the success formula of the western nations.

  3. me

    September 11, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Really????? Wen most public schls dnt hv Igbo and Hausa teachers…. So our own culture shld die while we chase shadows?….. Let d commissioner focus on teaching our local languages first at least to aid students wen dey go for NYSC in other states.

    • Princess

      September 11, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Their parents should teach them that!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Until your local language is lauded as being the next global language to note, I say “hush”. Some of those kids need an edge in order to stand out in their future careers and learning chinese will give them that.

  4. signature

    September 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

    It wud be very nice if it dey did it, u can never learn too many languages….plus its chineeessseee! c’mon, how awesome wud dat be 😀
    chin-chin-chowww! i’m gonna go live in lagos now, haha!
    i have to say dat this governor is jst amazing, and i’m not even a lagosian but I can see…..may God continue to bless him n support his amazing vision.

  5. me

    September 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Even the French dat was being taught b4 in public schls is no more taken seriously, most public schools dnt have french teachers again and den here comes Mandarin…… Dis commissioner aint serious sha

  6. ELIJAH OKUPEVI

    September 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

    The Chinese are like locusts that leave anywhere they ever visited devastated. The aftermath of British colonisation of Africa left Africa the weaker party of the two continents with the West pillaging our resources at will. The impositing of Chinese language/culture will leave us the behest of China’s economic poison. The Lagos State Government should find out why the Chinese are hated all over the world. Let our Government officials not sell us again into economic slavery in the name of aculturation. The West you know is better that the Chinese you do not know

  7. Ginika

    September 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

    EWOOOOO! They are taking over Nigeria

    • ami

      September 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      My taughts exactly

    • ami

      September 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      My thoughts exactly

    • Laila Ikeji

      September 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Laffss. Ginika! it’s not so a bad idea sha o. its evn a plus. imagine ur kids being able to speak english, ibo, yoruba, hausa n chinese. so cool really.
      http://www.LailaIkeji.com

  8. Zizi

    September 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I love the idea. I wish i had such advantage during my school days.

  9. Usaveone

    September 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Just wondering if Yoruba or lets say any other indigenous language is mandatory in Lagos so called public schools. Chinko Language…smh

  10. wale

    September 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

    It is easy to tell a Nigerian to learn Mandarin,than he or she learning other Nigerian Languages. So i support the Lagos State Govt.

  11. OmogeNaija

    September 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

    It is a very very good idea, it would help broaden the minds of students. Infact, we could also introduce Spanish, being able to speak those languages would increase our frontier as a Nation.
    However, I think it is stupid for us to make our children learn English, Chinese and other languages and discourage them from speaking our own native language, that’s not the definition of being ‘tush’ sir and madam. I have a colleague who is Calabar, she’s married to a Yoruba man and the children only speak English, I told her she’s throwing away the opportunity for her children to be multi-lingual.
    God bless Nigeria!

  12. Nony

    September 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

    wow… This is a great idea, since Nigeria is doing alot of business with China and other south-east Asian countries…

  13. Lara

    September 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

    How many Nigerians actually consider China as a study destination…besides how does learning Chinese help the development of Africa…We have not even learned the French our neighbors speak, it is not Chinese.

    • Porshla

      September 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      And the french others have been speaking for ages, coupled with the ones still taught as a module in schools…..how far has it brought development in Nigeria??

      This write up is a very excellent eye opener. Even though I’m living in London, I’ve just started discussing it now with my hubby, that we’r gonna take a leaf from this write-up to make our children learn the Chinese Language as priority! then french and may be spanish as an option. ‘cos this one the UK is still soaked in recession which we don’t know when or how soon they’l come out of it…….they are not even sure of jobs for my children tomorrow being locals or citizens. Atleast, they can have an alternative route to migrate to for better technological or Economic opportunities, should incase

  14. tootsy

    September 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I support the lagos state govt. its a right step. meaning with learning their language we can easy go to their state and learn from them. As regard our own language i believe it left to the parent to teach their children their native language it shouldnt be in school that they will be teaching that. Parent should speak this langauage to their children at home and we they go to school they learn other languages and not vice versa.

  15. Dazzle

    September 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    What we need to learn is the way the Chinese have successfully preserved their rich cultural heritage and apply it to this Nation. How many children nowadays can speak their own dialects or better still kneel to greet an elder. Let’s tidy up that end before jumping on to the next one. My two kobo

  16. tbn

    September 11, 2012 at 9:52 am

    What a ridiculous idea! What happened to learning french or any other recognised African official language? Those languages are more sustainable than mandarin not to talk of the fact that the students would have to learn new alphabets entirely.

  17. sylvy

    September 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

    when we don’t have enough teachers to teach our own language, we are talking of another language, china for that matter……Anyway, d way the French lang is gradually fading will be same with dis one…i bet

  18. anon

    September 11, 2012 at 10:45 am

    We always get into useless ventures. How is that a priority when kids can’t add or communicate well in English

  19. ij

    September 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

    A very daft idea, maybe the Chinese should learn one of our languages too.Again a very very daft idea. Teach good English first , you know baby steps

  20. ennie

    September 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

    i have a huge problem with this. have you tried interviewing a graduate and the min he/she opens the mouth to speak u suddenly require bullet proof? are they done learning good English? how many pple from these public schools can speak good English? Chinese ko!Dutch ni!

  21. faith

    September 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    wat kind of mumu plan is dat…we have over 100 languages in naija…they should choose fom one of those…smh

  22. Seun

    September 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

    When the students in public schools learn to speak good english, then I might get excited about this whole chinese bullshit

  23. brandigest

    September 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

    A great idea. China is now an economic giant, and learning there language is to give students an edge in any future international business transactions.
    http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com

  24. ToBechi Daniel

    September 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Variety is always a plus, but this is nonsensical! How does one justify the introduction of a not-so common foreign language when the English language (being taught) is deplorable? So much for good governance!
    http://www.tobechidaniel.blogspot.com

  25. Ibukun

    September 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    This is wonderful! Yes, finally. Globalization reaching our educational system. I think schools should insist on one foreign and one local language requirement for students. Im currently learning to speak Korean and hope to establish relationships between South Korea and Nigeria.

    I think we have more in common with the Asian cultures and need to learn to relate better with them. Let’s stop focusing so much on the West.

  26. neon

    September 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    what we REALLY need to learn is english….

  27. Olivia

    September 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    If perhaps we were in a country where public schools had all d amenities needed for its students to get a good education, this would have been a great idea but seeing as it is a country were some of these schools are lacking desks,chairs and even windows it is a daft and ridiculous idea. Sometimes I wonder what goes through the head of these fools ruling us.

  28. Na wa!

    September 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I think it’s rubbish. We are an english speaking country for goodness sake! We should learn to speak good english first before dabbling into chinese language. How many advanced nations in the western world make their students learn chinese? So just because the chinese are investing in Nigeria and other African nations, our leaders want to sell our souls to them? Africans! Always being colonized (directly and indirectly) by arabs, whites and now chinese but never the colonizer. Shame!

  29. ami

    September 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    This is bulls**t. Absolute bulls**t. Was this part of the agreement to have china invest in Lagos?????For it to be available at university level yes but Secondary schools really?? So wait, who are the teachers going to be? who is paying for the training and their salary? There is a cry of more infrastructure on more important things and this is were they want to invest in…. REALLY. I know of Lagosian who don’t speak any Nigerian language and you think adding a very hard new language into the mix will help? ONLY IN NIGERIA.

  30. 9Grian

    September 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    this is the most RIDICULOUS idea to have come out of lagos. do you think the chinese government will introduce yoruba in their curriculum to enable them do better business with lagosians? Nigerians need to wake you. Instead learn their business ideas and speak proper english instead.

  31. 9ja Mom

    September 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    While China is a major economic player, they didn’t attain that position by teaching other languages or throwing away their culture. I spent almost two weeks in China and it was a lesson in realizing the absence of the wests dominance in many places. I couldn’t converse with the lady at the supermarket checkout or even my taxi driver! Had to rely on the hotel clerk significantly for directions everywhere and I loved it! You could feel the sense of pride for the culture many miles away and it is part of that dominance that is being strategically played to placed a firm hold on Nigeria. As the most populous country in Nigeria, we fail to realize the significance of our part in the next play for Africa’s economic dominance but the Chinese see it clearly and are ensuring their piece of the pie in African economic dominance is guaranteed! Africa is next on the map and touted to be the fastest growing and bed of opportunities for te next few years.

    While its a great opportunity for children for a business advantage, it’s a misplaced priority. Our children should learn OUR languages first and foremost – do we really have so little faith in our ability that we can’t envision our languages in business? Our first priority should be to focus on ensuring a learned indigenous language and then an elective from the Chinese, French and any others being offered. To make a big show of this without a focus on our culture is simply another message to our kids once again that our culture is simply not up to par!

    Stressing here that I think it’s a good opportunity but one that must be offered only after we’ve ensured our kids are firmly rooted in our culture and fully invested in being Nigerians. My son will actually learn Chinese but only after he has mastered Yoruba!

    • Tunmi

      September 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      I agree

  32. 9ja Mom

    September 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    While China is a major economic player, they didn’t attain that position by teaching other languages or throwing away their culture. I spent almost two weeks in China and it was a lesson in realizing the absence of the wests dominance in many places. I couldn’t converse with the lady at the supermarket checkout or even my taxi driver! Had to rely on the hotel clerk significantly for directions everywhere and I loved it! You could feel the sense of pride for the culture many miles away and it is part of that dominance that is being strategically played to placed a firm hold on Nigeria. As the most populous country in Nigeria, we fail to realize the significance of our part in the next play for Africa’s economic dominance but the Chinese see it clearly and are ensuring their piece of the pie in African economic dominance is guaranteed! Africa is next on the map and touted to be the fastest growing and bed of opportunities for te next few years.

    While its a great opportunity for children for a business advantage, it’s a misplaced priority. Our children should learn OUR languages first and foremost – do we really have so little faith in our ability that we can’t envision our languages in business? Our first priority should be to focus on ensuring a learned indigenous language and then an elective from the Chinese, French and any others being offered. To make a big show of this without a focus on our culture is simply another message to our kids once again that our culture is simply not up to par!

    Stressing here that I think it’s a good opportunity but one that must be offered only after we’ve ensured our kids are firmly rooted in our culture and fully invested in being Nigerians. My son will actually learn Chinese but only after he has mastered Yoruba!

    http://www.9jamom.com

  33. juju

    September 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    i am a student nd im currently studying in china, in english tho, while i dnt like studying chinese its compulsory nd i cnt graduate without a chinese certificate. i think is a good idea. nobody is saying u shld misplace ur culture, jst learn d lang. evn if is hello or hi u can say…
    evrything in china is chinese tru dat, but they also learn english in china as part of their curriculum from premier thru middle sch, high sch nd uni. a young chinese person speaks english u wld b suprise esp if dey r educated dt hasn’t stop dem frm being chinese 4 1 day…. same 4 naija. d fct dt we were colonized by british did nt stop us frm being nigerians.. its jst an opportunity to lear moreover u can never fully speak nd undastnd chinese xcpt u live in shian, ur parents r chinese or u studied in chinese…. it is very difficult lang to learn.

    • juju

      September 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      “xcpt u live in china”

  34. pynk

    September 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    when did chinese become a language? Thats the first obvious failure.

  35. madman

    September 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    slavery is when you don’t accept anything about your culture. Suppress it, and live the culture of others – that is modern day slavery. In China, they do not speak any African languages even though, the Chinese exploit Africa daily.

    African leaders are still slaves.

  36. madman

    September 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Nigeria will remain a failure if it does not learn to value its OWN people and CULTURE.

  37. marvel

    September 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Population aside, how many countries in the world speak Chinese? China currently is the biggest employer of English teachers so I am not sure why ppl are learning Chinese.
    All that nonsense about their economy that took a huge hit from the credit ridden West has a number of factories relocating to Pakistan due to rocketing costs of real estate in Guangzhou for example. Are we going to force the kids to learn Urdu?

  38. Miss K

    September 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    You can never underestimate the advantages of being multilingual. I wish this opportunity was available when i was growing up. I actually took Hausa to SSCE level and unexpectedly got a Hausa job in the US. Imagine how many other opportunities would have opened up if i spoke Spanish, French, Arabic, etc. Languages make you more competitive especially in an ever globalizing world. I strongly support the propagation of indigenous as well as foreign languages in Nigeria.

  39. konnie

    September 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t buy this. Another form of colonialism. Did they REALLY think through this? Not even for a micro second. Are Chinese people learning yoruba or some other Naija language?

    Inferiority complex showing up!!!!

  40. purplepearl

    September 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Oh please, this chinese speaking people cant even communicate in proper english talk less of teaching people how to speak their language, so how will this teachers translate chinese to english. Please if you want to learn chinese go to China. Period. What happened to French or better still our English Lang?

  41. miztinak

    September 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    It doesn’t even make sense. Do the Chinese learn Nigerian languages in their schools? Even if a Nigerian was fluent in Chinese, he still wouldn’t get a job in China!

  42. tito

    September 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Being a product of foreign langauge acquisition (french) in secondary school, I welcome the idea with arms open WIDE………..and Yes, I speak my native tongue, Yoruba fluently. So, learning a foreign language is only going to better the lives of our youth and not act as a deterrent. Trust me, I know waht my French has done and is still doing for me. YES to the introduction of Mandarin, YES! YES!! YES!!!

  43. tito

    September 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    what*

  44. Melody

    September 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    we have not recovered from the aftermath of making english our first language now it’s Chinese when Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba,Ibibio,Ijaw etc have not been learnt

  45. Kemi

    September 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Are we being colonized al over again? They are “investing” in our national infrastructure and now we want to start teaching mandarin chinese in schools? Those students have not even perfected the art of speaking English and any of the local languages and now they want to learn mandarin.
    smh

  46. Tunmi

    September 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Oh dear. I would rather our students learn the other Nigerian languages, at least the major Nigerian languages first before dabbling into foreign languages. I would like to see other languages such as Spanish and Chinese but not at the detriment of Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Ibibio, etc. The local languages should be a priority first and then the foreign languages can be added in University not the Secondary level.

  47. i no send

    September 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Please teach the students and also their english teachers how to speak english properly first……

  48. Sassy

    September 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Speak English?

    • Sassy

      September 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Are we even done learning the English sef!!!

  49. NNENNE

    September 12, 2012 at 2:32 am

    “Jill of all trade, master of none.”
    Why don,t we become very proficient in the ones we are learning now?
    Chinese people should learn English language if they want to do business with us.
    Nigerians wanting to speak Chinese should explore this on their own please!

  50. Someone

    September 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

    As good as this idea may sound, it is not and should not be top in our list of issues in the country. The Chinese have done something great in their country. Why don’t we learn how they became this big rather worry ourselves about the language?
    Just imagine someone like Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon adding chinese to his current vocabulary lol

  51. Pd

    September 13, 2012 at 12:09 am

    We all know is not gonna happen……pls how much are they going to pay the chinese teachers? Ghost workers…..

  52. Tos

    September 13, 2012 at 7:40 am

    China is the next super power, and teaching mandatory mandarin in Lagos public schools is a modern day colonization. But, in a way I prefer Asians in Africa than whites, so let’s see how that goes. I hope it will be of help than take away from anything valuable thing. I hope the chinese can help us develop our country, like building our infrastructure and our economy. Nigerians, are already travelers who speak different languages, so it shouldn’t be that hard.

  53. NNENNE

    September 14, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Tos… Are you for real? Prefer Chinese over whites? Do your research well please.
    I hope Nigeria will not loose their senses as they trade with China.

  54. Tos

    September 15, 2012 at 4:48 am

    @Nnenne

    Yes, I am for real. I definitely prefer chinese to whites, you know why? because whites colonized us for years, enslaved us and it’s become a racism, prejudice issue. Whites have been in Africa for years, and they’ve done nothing but complicate everything. Our relationship with whites is more of a superiority type because they make everything became a skin color issue. Chinese built their way back up, so nothing like white race been the best and trying to force it on everybody. And, Asians and Africans have similar cultures, and we are both hardworking people too. We can do business together, be cordial and don’t have to be best friends. Of course, they have their own prejudice but it’s not as enslaving mentally and emotionally as whites. I believe, if we play our cards well, chinese/Nigerian relation can be more beneficial than anything else. I do believe, Nigerians should also stick to our native languages, Yoruba, igbo, ibibio,etc but learning mandarin will also be nice and will give us a step ahead.

  55. Tos

    September 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    *they make everything a skin color issue
    *we are both hardworking people

  56. lianyi

    September 28, 2012 at 3:47 am

    A tool i found was also useful is the Chinese-English online dictionary nciku. It has a handwriting tool that makes looking up Chinese characters really easier.

  57. harsha

    October 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Guys dey are just using us for their own purpose why should we learn their language when most Nigerians do not knw hw to speak english

  58. Pierre De Fermat

    December 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    他家好,i am a nigerian I speak mandarin a lil, I’d love to meet beginners like me, so we can speak and share ideas, my pin is pin:33133ED7

  59. Michael Nwalutu

    March 5, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Shame! Shame! waht a Shame! Under no circumstance would the Chinese regimes accept any of the Nigerian 450 languages in their culture in reciprocation. This déjà vu moment of cultural travesty is evocative of Ngugi WaThiong’O’s (1993) and Mudimbe’s (1988) unequivocal illustrations of how colonization of Africa by Arab and the West have systematically exterminated most of African Indigenous languages, and the present dispensation of Africans (especially the youth) subsume the prevalent colonial cultures of their environments of birth and upbringing under their indigenous heritages.

  60. Anonymous

    March 28, 2015 at 12:08 am

    It’s a good idea. Most of the western world is declining. A country like Canada which is nothing but a G8 country with third world economy is seriously declining. Learn Mandarin if you can. God bless.

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