Kenyan Confucius Institute Sees 1st Group of Graduates
07-24-2018    Xinhua
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><BR>Confucius Institute Opening Ceremony December 19, 2005</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US></SPAN>&nbsp;</P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Xinhua, October 5, 2006</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Nairobi</SPAN></st1:City><SPAN lang=EN-US>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">Kenya</st1:country-region> -- Jacob Lukaka, who is going to graduate from the <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">University</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Nairobi</st1:PlaceName> later this year, has already secured a job -- to work for a Chinese travel agency in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Kenya</st1:country-region></st1:place> as a guide.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>He received on Wednesday a certificate of Chinese language course at the university's Confucius Institute, a nonprofit school specializing in Chinese language education and cultural communication.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Majoring in communications, Lukaka has always had a special interest in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region></st1:place>.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"<st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">China</st1:place></st1:country-region> is growing very fast, it's now a driving force in the world, both economically and politically," he said. "The Kenyan government has launched a look-east policy, and is benefiting from that."</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Since many Chinese are doing business here in <st1:country-region w:st="on">Kenya</st1:country-region> and goods from <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">China</st1:place></st1:country-region> are increasingly popular, Lukaka has seen great opportunity from the close ties between the two countries. In order to take advantage of that opportunity, "you have to first learn the language."</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Including Lukaka, 18 students are graduating from the Confucius Institute as the first class who started their courses late last year.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Having learned the language for barely nine months, they can already speak simple Chinese and even sing songs in Chinese. But for them, this is far from satisfaction.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"I hope I can have a chance to get a master degree in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region></st1:place>, majoring in international relations," said Lukaka.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Lucy Mugo, a linguistics student who has also completed her study at the institute, said she is very interested in learning Chinese language and wants to further her study in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region></st1:place>, "just like Ruth."</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Once a classmate at the institute, Ruth Njeri, who gave an outstanding performance at the Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, was awarded a scholarship for studying Chinese language at the <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Tianjin</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Normal</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">University</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region></st1:place> for five years. She has studied there for three months.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:country-region w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>China</SPAN></st1:country-region><SPAN lang=EN-US> and <st1:place w:st="on">Africa</st1:place> in recent years are enjoying a closer tie, in areas including trade, economy and culture. With a view to further promoting cultural exchanges between <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region> and the African countries, the educational departments of <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region> and <st1:country-region w:st="on">Kenya</st1:country-region> reached an agreement in June 2004 to establish a Confucius Institute at the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">University</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Nairobi</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Since its official launch in December, 2005, the Confucius Institute has been doing very well, said Isaac Mbeche, principal of the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">College</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Humanities</st1:PlaceName></st1:place> and Social Sciences at the university.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"The collaboration between Kenya and China is growing well and fast, especially in tourism and trade sectors," said Mbeche Wednesday at the institute's completion certificate award ceremony," to benefit from this, we are happy to have such kind of institute, which can serve as the base for better understanding between the two countries."</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>MORE TO BE ABLE TO LEARN CHINESE</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Due to limited resources and lack of teachers, the university has to restrict the number of students who can take the Chinese course, said the principal who is also the dean of the Confucius Institute. Apart from the first 18 graduates, there are over 30 students studying at the institute.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>He promised that the university, together with its Chinese partner, would try every effort to get more teachers and teaching equipment, so that more Kenyans can have a chance to learn the Chinese language and culture.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Deputy Dean of the institute Song Lixian, who came from the <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Tianjin</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Normal</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">University</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region>, said that besides teaching Chinese here at the institute, she is also trying to get more scholarships for Kenyan students to study in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region></st1:place>.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The Confucius Institute program was designed by China National office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOCFL) to promote Chinese teaching in the world and provide excellent teachers and learning materials for overseas Chinese learners.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>According to the NOCFL's program, the number of Confucius Institutes around the world will reach <st1:chmetcnv w:st="on" TCSC="0" NumberType="1" Negative="False" HasSpace="True" SourceValue="100" UnitName="in">100 in</st1:chmetcnv> the near future. In Africa there are currently three Confucius Institutes respectively in <st1:country-region w:st="on">Kenya</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">South Africa</st1:country-region> and <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Zimbabwe</st1:place></st1:country-region>.</SPAN></P>
Editor: Wang Xinyu
   
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