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?
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