Ten to study in China
Ten students will get to experience the Oriental, as this year there was a 50 per cent plus increase in Chinese government scholarships awarded to Barbadians. This has brought the total of scholarships awarded over the years to more than 50.
And, Minister of Education Ronald Jones has credited this to the affable relationship between Barbados and China. With this in mind, he is urging more Barbadians to learn Mandarin as a second language, to capitalize on the countless opportunities they stand to benefit from the Chinese friendship.
Speaking last evening at a reception for the scholarship winners at the Chinese Embassy in Rockley, Christ Church, Jones stressed that China was on its way to becoming the world’s largest economy, and that by acquiring the language of a population of 1.3 billion it could augur well for persons in the future. Stating that Mandarin was now in its second installation at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Jones revealed that he too had plans to take up learning of the language.
Chinese Ambassador to Barbados Wang Ke as well encouraged Barbadians to pursue Mandarin, which is believed to be one of the oldest languages of the world. She said that as China continued to develop rapidly, the global interests in understanding China had become stronger.
“Therefore learning Chinese has been a craze worldwide, with an estimated more than 100 million foreigners learning the language,” the ambassador added.
She said another three million people were actually travelling to China to explore and experience Mandarin.
In recent years, the China-Barbados relationship has been developing healthily and deeply, Wang said, and the enthusiasm of Barbadians to learn Chinese, understand China and do business with Chinese people has been on the rise.
“In order to meet the demand of the Barbadian side, China sent a Chinese lecturer to the Cave Hill Campus of the University of West Indies to open Chinese language courses,” she said, noting that a Confucius Institute would be established at the Cave Hill Campus by early 2015.
“This year, the Chinese side increased the scholarships . . . to help more Barbadian students get the opportunities to go to China, learn Chinese language, acquire modern knowledge and understand the oriental country in depth. China and Barbados are good friends and partners. The mutual beneficial cooperation and friendly exchanges between the two countries has much potential in the field of trade, investment, tourism, renewable energy, culture, sports and education. And this will provide the students who get the chance to study in China and master the linguistic and professional skill with more career opportunities,” the ambassador said.
Wang challenged the awardees to cherish the opportunities of being selected from among numerous applicants, and urged them that while in China to be open to all experiences. The awardees this year are Renata Alleyne, Ashley Bryan, Ricardo Francis, Philippe Jones, Brenden Gonsalves, Alexandria Payne, Shanda St Hill, Akilah Femi Waithe, Akeem Parris, Tyrone Ricardo Yearwood and Antonio Alleyne.