Public, private institutes in Pakistan promoting Chinese language learning
ISLAMABAD, June 30 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan’s public and private institutes across the country, even in smaller cities, have begun offering Mandarin (Chinese) classes. These schools mostly cater to affluent middle-class segments of the population.
According to a survey conducted by Gwadar Pro, the number of these institutions and private centers has grown in large number recently. Mandarin has become one of the most important languages to learn in the country especially after China’s economic presence across the world.
With many CPEC projects being constructed in Gwadar and across Pakistan, it is expected that around 40,000 Chinese interpreters will be needed in the coming years, and the Chinese language will make them a top pick for these job opportunities.
The figures showed that Pakistan’s top private institutes are now offering Chinese language courses more than ever in the past. Both public and private Pakistani universities have also launched their own China study centers that focus on providing Chinese language and cultural training, many of which are locally funded and run.
One example is City School, one of the largest private school networks in Pakistan, with at least 150 schools in nearly fifty cities serving a total of 150,000 students.
Selected campuses of City School have begun offering Chinese language classes to students, although the school’s classrooms use a national curriculum from the UK.
To encourage parents to enroll their children in Chinese courses, the school’s website argues that “Pakistanis well-versed in Mandarin will be better equipped to embrace the opportunities provided by the second largest economy in the world.”
The school’s website lists other reasons for learning Chinese too. For instance, it says that “China will play a major role in world affairs,” “Chinese language skills are a resume-builder,” and Chinese is “the number one [most] spoken language in the world.”
Another private Chinese language center website states “learn a Chinese language and make yourself expensive,” and “learning Chinese, especially in Pakistan, can also open up a world of employment opportunities for our youth.”
Roots School System is another network of private schools in Pakistan that offers Chinese language courses. A student from Roots Millennium School in Islamabad was the first prize winner in the 2019 “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students.
The survey revealed that because of CPEC, learning Chinese means more opportunities for everyone in the global market.
Rehana Munawar, a language professor of National University of Modern Languages Islamabad and PhD graduate of Communication University of China said it seems that with the ever-growing friendship and business relationship between the two countries, the day is not far away when Mandarin would be one of the languages frequently spoken in Pakistan and Urdu would be seeping its way to China.
“Learning Mandarin will open many career options for our youth like Chinese teacher, language translator, content writer and etc. Such language instruction for Pakistani youth bodes well for a dramatic rise in Mandarin speakers in Pakistan in the future,” she said.