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China to open more Mandarin schools in Pakistan to meet demands

Pakistani students

China is training more Mandarin teachers and building more language schools in Pakistan to meet the growing demand for Mandarin speakers.

China also want the Pakistani television channels to show Chinese television dramas which are totally absent from small screens there.

A second Confucius Institute in Pakistan is under construction, to help China achieve its goal of training 1,000 more Mandarin teachers in the country.

Eliminating the language barrier will benefit the booming bilateral trade, and boost the country’s technology sectors.

Pakistan’s trade with China surpassed 12 billion dollars last year, a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent.

“Learning Mandarin is now very promising for those who want to make a fortune in Pakistan,” said Misbah Rashid, an assistant professor of the Department of Chinese at the National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad.

“There is a growing number of Chinese enterprises running businesses here,” she told the Daily adding that the majority of her students found jobs in the Pakistani branches of Chinese companies or government agencies.

Established in 1970, the country’s leading language university once taught Mandarin to only 30 students in Rashid’s department.

But today the figure is more than 200, and the diploma courses in Islamabad now cover bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on Mandarin studies.

Many Pakistani students who become Mandarin teachers return to their hometowns that border the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

“Cross-border trade is thriving there, and Mandarin skills are needed,” Rashid said.

The university, a leading Mandarin teaching academy in Pakistan, now has 12 teachers in the Mandarin department, including four from China.

The university is also home to the first and only Confucius Institute in Pakistan, which was jointly established with Beijing Language and Culture University in 2007.

The training of proficient Mandarin teachers is expected to accelerate because Premier Li Keqiang announced a five-year plan to train 1,000 more in Pakistan in May.

Another report in the Daily bemoaned for Pakistani TV channels not airing Chinese television serials.

Samina Parvez, director-general of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, said China and Pakistan have exchanged many television programs over the years.

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