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After Islamabad, Mandarin institute comes to Karachi

A.Rafay

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KARACHI: The use of flowery language to underscore the significance of Pakistan-China friendship, such as “higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans”, has not translated much into exploring opportunities to promote people-to-people contacts and ensuring cooperation in the realms of education, business and culture between the two countries.

What was declared as a ‘feat’ by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan as well as Chinese Consul-General Ma Yaou on Friday was the establishment of second Confucius Institute in Pakistan. The institute has been set up at the University of Karachi in collaboration with Sichuan Normal University in China and accredited with the office of Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban. The inaugural ceremony of the institute was held at the Governor’s House.

The second institute emerged after a span of eight years following the establishment of the first Confucius Institute in Pakistan in April, 2005, at the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.

Both the countries, within the eight-year period, have, however, missed at lot that could have been achieved. And to state the obvious, Pakistani officials have hardly offered any explanation except for ‘consideration’ issues.

As China’s economy and exchanges with the world have seen rapid growth, the country, benefiting from the experiences of United Kingdom, France and Germany endeavoured to increase its outreach through the establishment of non-profit public institutions to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries.

The initiative took shape in the form of Confucius institutes, which, apart from learning about Chinese language and culture, provided a platform for cultural exchanges between China and the world. The first ever institute was established in Seoul, South Korea, in September 2004 and by the mid of 2013, there were around 430 such institutes with around 655,000 students enrolled in 115 countries around the world. Over 100 institutes have been established in the United States only.

“Though it is late, we can expect it to be a good beginning,” said the governor when asked byThe Express Tribune about Pakistan’s inordinate saunter in availing opportunities to promote people-to-people contacts with its neighbouring country.

Nevertheless, he appeared optimistic about the prospects. “We are hopeful to receive a favourable response, especially from the youth, with the establishment of this institute. It would also attract many more institutes in the near future,” he said, adding that in the wake of remarkable development attained by China, the significance of the Chinese language has also increased over the years.

KU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Qaiser was rather frank in stating that people-to-people contacts remain a major issue between the two countries despite their decade-long cordial relations on administration-level. “I believe a new milestone in the history of cultural exchanges between the two countries has been achieved with the launch of this institute,” he added.

To take on the responsibility of teaching by the start of next academic session, Chinese faculty has arrived to stay at the university campus.

He said that the best-performing students of the institute will receive fully-funded scholarships to China. Students will get two-week scholarships during the summer and winter breaks, whereas after the completion of 12-month certificate courses, they will have the opportunity to continue their studies in China on six-month to one-year scholarships.

Academic diplomacy: After Islamabad, Mandarin institute comes to Karachi – The Express Tribune
 

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:woot:

waise if I am not mistaken Chinese lang is also taught in PU, Lahore by the help of Chinese..

p.s.

this is good development, Chinese is the new international language, our children must learn !
 

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