KAMPALA, July 23 (Xinhua) — A renowned Ugandan high school has launched the Chinese Club with the aim of popularizing Mandarin (standard Chinese language) and Chinese culture, where over 700 of its students are currently studying the Chinese language as one of their main courses.
Located 20 kilometers from the national capital of Kampala, Ndejje Senior Secondary School is a prominent public school in the area and is currently one of Uganda’s three schools participating in the national Chinese language proficiency examination. The school has over 2,500 students and three local Chinese language teachers.
During the launching ceremony on Friday, which included cultural performances by the students and brought together Fan Xuecheng, minister counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Uganda, and representatives from the Chinese community, Charles Kahigiriza, head teacher of the school, said his school has so far 786 students actively learning the Chinese language.
He said the school decided to establish Chinese courses because China is a popular destination for university education among global students.
“Chinese is one of the official languages of the United Nations. We thought adding Chinese would give our students a competitive advantage over others,” Kahigiriza said.
He said the Chinese embassy, Xiangtan University in central China’s Hunan Province, and the Confucius Institute at Makerere University have contributed immensely to the teaching of Chinese language and culture in his school, calling for more support from the Chinese community.
Speaking during the launch, Fan hailed the teachers and students for their commitment to teaching and practicing the Chinese language.
He said language is a bridge that connects and brings together different cultures, and the Chinese government has been providing scholarships and training to Ugandans every year.
Juliet Nabutundu, a Chinese language teacher at the school, said the Chinese club will contribute to the cooperation between China and Uganda. “We are teaching these students the Chinese language because we prepare them for the opportunities that exist in the Chinese economy,” she said.
Courtney Asingwire, the president of the Chinese club, said they started the club to promote unity among learners of Chinese and those who study other subjects in the school.
She said learning Chinese has enabled her to be creative in terms of arts, hoping to get more opportunities once she completes her studies.