Public school students in Lagos will soon add Mandarin to their lesson schedule, the Lagos state government said on Monday.
The state commissioner for education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, said the Chinese language will be introduced in public schools’ curriculum starting in school session 2013/2014. The ministry’s spokesman, Lanre Bajulaiye, said learning the language will afford public school students adapt to the Chinese culture.
The ministry is working alongside the Chinese Confucius Institute of the University of Lagos. Director of the institute, Caleb Orimoogunje said the institution is ready to assist the state with necessary logistics to make teaching and learning Mandarin easier.
Choosing to teach Nigerian students the Chinese language should come as no surprise given China’s growing influence in Africa and its place as an economic world power. Co-director for the institute and a representative of the Chinese culture in Nigeria, Lirong Jiang, says the learning the language is necessary to help Nigerians advance in education and business in China.
“The Institute is prepared to provide Chinese instructors to teach the language and culture in the state’s public schools as soon as the Memorandum of Understanding is signed between the state and the institute,” she said. “The knowledge of Chinese language will help students to further their studies in China and carry out research in various fields of human endeavour as China has become a success story in the world economy.”