Exploring opportunities in Chinese Language culture


John Okeke writes that Chinese language is fast growing in the country and few people are aware of the opportunities it presents.
So many Nigerians have developed interest in the language and are reaping the benefits therein while some are yet to discover the opportunities therein.

China Culural Centre in Abuja has all over the years produced Nigerian gruaduates in the centre who are proficient in speaking the language .

However, the establishment of the Chinese language institute in Nnamdi Azikiwe University is the beginning of wisdom as it has put smiles on the faces of students who through the institute got scholarships in China universities and jobs.

In 2008 the Chinese Confucius Institute was established in Nnamdi Azikiwe University which aimed at promoting language and culture interchange between china and Nigeria and also to facilitate Chinese language promotion and Chinese cultural transmission in Nigeria and to produce qualified Chinese language teachers and excellent Chinese language students.

The agreement between Hanban and Nnamdi Azikiwe University establishing Confucius Institute was signed in March,2008 and inaugurated in February ,2009.

Its boards of directors jointly composed of NAU and Xiamen University.

CI has a total of fourteen (14) staff of which six (6) are local while eight (8) lecturers are assigned by Hanban and Xiamen University.

About two thousand, five hundred (2500) students at different levels have been trained in the institute since its inception which has in its over 6years of existence recorded great success.

To met the increasing demand of the institute’s services from the general public, CI has so far established three (3) Confucius classrooms: at Federal Polytechnic Oko with twelve (12) teaching classes and three hundred and fifty (350) registered students; at Unizik High School with eleven (11) teaching classes and one hundred and thirty (130) registered students and at Enugu State College of Education Technical.

In 2013, the National Universities Commission (NUC) approved the establishment of the fulltime Bachelor of Art (B.A) programme with effect from the 2013/2014 academic session.

The Confucius Institute also offers training at three additional levels: Diploma ,Proficiency written and Proficiency oral and Executive class.

The Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, Mr. Wang Bo revealed that 90 percent of Nigerian students presently studying in China are from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state.

Bo, that 54 students gained admission into Chinese universities last year, while another 100 who have passed different levels of Chinese language are currently working in various companies.

However, recently , 21-year old Anambra-born Nigerian, Ekwensi Anthony Ebuka, a final year of Nnamdi Azikiwe University in the department of Educational Management and Policy came fourth in the final competition in the recent contest of Chinese language competition in Beijing , China after beating 118 African countries fellow contestants to come first in Africa and emerged fourth position in the world .

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ahaneku was elated that the university through the Institute has provided job opportunies and scholarships awarded to many of its students in China.

“This is just a plus to the level of promotion we have already given to the language. As I said we have not less than 200 students that are already accessing different levels of scholarships in China through our institute. I want to inform you you right now we have student that read law so many years back that right now work with the United Nations. As you know foreign language is an advantage for a job maybe in United Nations and things like that . So, we also have another lady who was employed in Hubei University . So, she is now working as an international staff at their international office a Nigerian lady because if this advantage . As he said some of them that are having proficiency in this language are ready being hired by local people fir interpretation here . And then some of them that are working in some African countries both in Africa and South Africa are already receiving requests from various companies within and outside Africa for especially people in Engineering, computer science especially science based disciplines with language proficiency in Chinese language. So, the subscription is quite high . With this language advantage it will open doors for some of them that are looking for jobs in a companies manned by some of the Chinese employers. So, for me and for us at Nnamdi Azikiwe University will throw it open and most of our students are auditing the language even after reading different courses . And we have our demonstration schools in primary and secondary. This Chinese language is growing in the country. It is like a household thing and students walk enter there freely and took the language. And again we have Chinese African Research Center is also domiciled in Nnamdi Azikiwe University. If you want to know deeply about Chinese culture you can come to our resource Centre that is in our school.”

“So we’re indeed elated that one of our student is a student under a B.A program participated in a world competition in which one hundred and eighteen participated . All these nations where the Chinese language is being taught and the foreign candidates were all assembled in Beijing and at the end of the day , a Nigerian from the Anambra State , a student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University running a B.A program emerged first in Africa and fourth in the entire world . So, for me and for us this underscores the facts that we are also living up to our expectations in the education sector.
 But we are also working exceedingly hard live , enlarge in our reputations of a particular sector, education sector. So, I want to contact this young Nigerian youth. He is going to serve as an inspiration unto others so that also learn from his study policies on how to work hard . But I want to say this that since we have been in partnership with this university in China , we have actually given both our resources and time and we have committed quite a number of programs to this particular partnership. And as we speak we have about two hundred Nigerians that have access to scholarships for different programs in China. So, we have had these opportunities that are rare and they are available and on daily basis we keep harnessing some of these opportunities. So, as we doing at Nnamdi Azikiwe University we are trying to spread our teaching points to various regions and geo political zones in this country .
 Currently, we have established teaching points now at Ebonyi state , we have at Federal Polytechnic Okoh . We have at Enugu state . We are going to go to Kano and then we also going to establish at Portharcourt . So, what we want to do is to give more access to Nigerian youths so that they can discover bad rediscover themselves. These are the talents that we have as burning talents in Nigeria and then when they have these opportunities they can interact with their colleagues in China . And through that means they will defind and have away of developing themselves mentally and even in any career of their choice . Again , we have tours , summer tours and summer school. Some Nigerian youths them just left yesterday and they arrived today through this same partnership. And that for me is the best way to give them broader perspectives looking at the global way of things . So, some of them will be reading different courses in various institutions that are available in Beijing and they will tour different institutions in China .
Through that they will also make friends and then build bridges. And some if them that are very inquisitive are already making some friends and they can also do their own business. Some of us that are coming from the regions here entrepreneurship is working they are already deepening the relationship in rearing entrepreneurship. Am not even surprised that the people are coming from where entrepreneurship working to start their own businesses. So, these are ways and this for me is a way of solving the problem of mobility for young Nigerians . This is of unemployment will also solved through this same means when people are given the opportunities to explore and through that most people and Nigerian youth will definitely find their levels in the field of human endeavor.
That is the kind of things that have been happening all over the years . Nnamdi Azikiwe University is at the forefront and the vanguard of greater partnership and relationship. And we will continue to do our best to promote this partnership between our two countries. At the moment and the chairman governing board of this great institute. And it is our dream that this is going to blossom and more Nigerians will access the opportunities and use that to transfer some of the rare skills that are really there to our Nigerian society. Am looking at the time we will have made in Nigeria by Chinese in Nigeria and made in China by Nigerians in China. That is the best thing we can have for our Nigerian youths.”

He said that the institution, being the first to establish Confucius institute, has worked hard to maintain the standard and have been established as Chinese Cultural Research Centre, the only one in Africa to receive award of excellence.

Ahaneku further noted that the programme has transcended from learning of Chinese language to culture and other areas of human endeavor namely medicine, engineering, architecture, agriculture, among others, hoping that the university will achieve its objectives in human development in the near future.

The Cultural Counselor, the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria said the students’ performance would help to cement Nigeria and China relations.

He said, “the student stride will help to build a bridge between China and Nigeria. Through this way Exchange Programme will be further improved. This is an encouragement and inspiration to many other people . I wish the VC and the university greater future. I wish your school and the institute will achieve one purpose.”

The final year student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University in the department of Educational Management and Policy , Ekwensi Anthony Ebuka who emerged first in Africa in Chinese language contest in Beijing said the language when learnt it will give room for employment opportunities and scholarships.

“I think it will open a window of opportunities for me . After learning the Chinese language you can work in a Chinese companies . You can equally act as a Chinese translator. Also if you learn the language and pass the exams you will get scholarship to go to China to study because the competition I participated I was able to get a scholarship . I can study any course if my choice in any university in China. Yes I think it will.”
Exploring opportunities in Chinese Language culture Exploring opportunities in Chinese Language culture Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Thursday, August 16, 2018 Rating: 5

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