MINISTER OF STATE LEADS A 10-MEMBER DELEGATION ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Ghana’s Minister of State responsible for Tertiary Education, is leading a high-powered delegation from Ghana to the People’s Republic of China.
The delegation is made up of some stakeholder institutions and representatives of educational institutions in Ghana who are currently in China to hold official meetings with leadership of the Confucius Institute and other universities in the country.
The Confucius Institute of the University of Cape Coast, has a partnership arrangement with the Hunan City University of China on the teaching and learning of Chinese language at the University.
This partnership, which started about three years ago, has seen the Confucius Institute of the University of Cape Coast develop from the scratch to a very inspiring educational facility of 40 Chinese language teachers.
The Institute currently has student population of nearly 10,000 in local curricula structures across Ghana with the establishment of an independent library, a language laboratory, classrooms and offices.
In pursuit of the core mandate of training local Chinese teachers in Ghana, open up opportunities for Ghanaian students to learn the language, and to deepen such partnership between the two countries, the Confucius Institute of Cape Coast University organized the delegation of heads of stakeholder institutions to China.
The visit is to offer both parties the opportunity to renew their commitments towards existing agreements and also to explore possible avenues for academic partnerships, future collaborations and scholarly exchanges.
The Confucius Institute promotes and teaches Chinese culture and language around the world. They develop Chinese language courses, train teachers, host cultural and artistic presentations, and provide information about modern day China. It is in line with this that the two universities are sharing resources to open up educational opportunities in China for Ghanaian students who may possibly want to study in China or pursue business ventures in the Asian state.
The delegation visited the headquarters of the Confucius Institute on Friday 28th June, 2019 in Beijing where the Deputy Chief Executive, Yu Yunfeng, hosted them for a breakfast meeting. At the meeting, Mr. Yu Yunfeng expressed his appreciation to the Government of Ghana for the support given to the Confucius Institute for the establishment of learning centers at the University of Cape Coast, University of Ghana and other learning centers and classrooms across senior high schools in Ghana. He said “the establishment of the Confucius institute forms part of efforts to deepen the diplomatic relationship between Ghana and China”. He was of the firm trust that the Confucius Institute will serve as a link to bridge the language gap that existed between the two countries in order to promote trade, technology transfer, and cultural exchanges among others. He also explained that, “Confucius classroom programmes partner with local secondary schools or school districts, to provide teachers and instructional materials…”
In Ghana, University Practice Senior High School and Mfantsipim College are a few of the schools that have Confucius classrooms.
In his opening address, Prof. Yankah also extended the appreciation of the President and people of Ghana to China for the continuous collaboration between the two countries and the enormous support received in Ghana’s industrialization agenda from China. He said “it is getting clearer and clearer that as the volume of trade between Ghana and China increases from year to year, the need arises for us to expand further our immersion in each other’s language and culture”. This he believes, would be more meaningful, for the sake of strengthening equity in the exchanges, “if Ghanaian universities and language centers similarly institute schemes by which Ghanaian languages are taught to Chinese and other foreigners, to promote cultural and business immersion in Ghana”.
The Minister of State admonished that even though Chinese sounds like a difficult language to Africans as a whole, “linguistics are convinced that proficiency in the language subsequently becomes easier with time, and that Chinese grammar and syntax are no more difficult to learn than those other languages”.
The Ghanaian delegation to China includes the Executive Secretary of the National Accreditation Board Dr. Kingsley Nyarko, the Vice Chancellor of Takoradi Technical University Prof. Frank John Eshun, the Director of Academic Affairs of the University of Cape Coast Mr. Jeff Teye Onyame, the Director of the Confucius Institute of the University of Cape Coast Prof. Hu Liangcai and other officials from stakeholder institutions.
They will be in China to, among other things, engage Government officials and University authorities in the People’s Republic and to discuss major issues of great importance including capacity building exchanges, sign Memoranda of Understanding etc.