To better pave the road for trade and connection with China, Kenya is preparing to teach Mandarin lessons in classrooms starting next year.
CEO of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Julius Jwan, recently spoke with Chinese state media Xinhua News, revealing the design, scope, and sequence of the Mandarin syllabus that is now finished and ready to roll out sometime in 2020.
“Beginning 2020, we will commence teaching Mandarin as a foreign language from grade four for pupils who wish to learn the Asian language,” he said.
Officials in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, received full support for the plan from Beijing. To assist in the effort, China sent delegations of Chinese scholars to help develop the courses, and gave out scholarships for Kenyan graduate students to study at Chinese universities.
The move is expected to benefit Kenya and its citizens, considering the country’s growing political and economic ties with the Asian superpower, as well as the rise of Mandarin as one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
“The place of China in the world economy has also grown to be so strong that Kenya stands to benefit if its citizens can understand Mandarin,” Jwan added.
Mandarin will be taught alongside local languages and other foreign languages like Arabic and French, the report noted.