Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Click Here To Read more: 16th Annual Chinese Bridge Competition at Kenyatta University

Click Here To Read more: 16th Annual Chinese Bridge Competition at Kenyatta University

Nairobi, May 25, 2023 - The Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University hosted the highly anticipated 16th Annual Chinese Bridge Competition on May 25th, 2023. The competition, organized by the Center for Language Education and Cooperation, aims to showcase Chinese language proficiency among learners and foster cultural exchange between China and the world.

Ten prestigious high schools from Nairobi, including Maryhill Girls, Statehouse Girls, Starehe Boys Center, Sukari Presbyterian Junior High School, Dagoreti Mixed Academy, Karima Girls, and Alliance Boys, participated in the competition. After the temporary interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the event successfully resumed this year, attracting enthusiastic participants. The competition spanned three categories: speech, talent shows, and knowledge about Chinese language and culture. Participants faced a rigorous selection process and had to meet specific criteria, including being high school students aged between 15 and 18 years, with proficiency in Chinese or being native speakers.

The grand prize for the winner of the competition is a fully-funded trip to China, where they will represent Kenya and compete with first prize winners from other countries around the globe. This remarkable opportunity allows the winner to further their understanding of Chinese culture and language while fostering international connections.

In light of this, Mr. Fred Oanda, the Director of Accreditation and Outreach at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), delivered an inspiring speech during the event. He highlighted the partnership between TVETA and the Confucius Institute, emphasizing the equivalence of the Chinese language program to a level 6 program at TVETA. Mr. Oanda encouraged high school students to pursue Chinese as a language of the future, considering its status as the world's third most spoken language after English. He also emphasized the importance of developing curricula that align with future needs and creating lifelong skills through higher education.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that Dr. Susan Mutune, the Assistant Director of Radio and Media at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, spoke about the optional nature of Chinese language learning in schools. She urged students to freely choose languages based on their career aspirations, highlighting the relevance of Chinese for those interested in working in hotels, tourism companies, and various industries. Dr. Mutune emphasized the practicality of the Chinese language course, which equips students with effective communication skills, writing abilities, and cultural knowledge. She encouraged high school students to consider Kenyatta University as their institution of choice, as it offers comprehensive courses to support their career paths. Dr. Mutune assured students that there is a growing demand for Chinese teachers, with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) ready to support and absorb qualified graduates.

During the remarks session, the Vice-Chancellor's commitment to excellence was eloquently conveyed by Prof. Thoruwa on his behalf. Emphasizing Kenyatta University's unwavering dedication to delivering top-notch education, fostering scholarship, and nurturing a culture of innovation and creativity. He acknowledged the longstanding partnership with the Chinese Embassy, which has facilitated market-driven programs and the presence of Chinese volunteers and lecturers to enhance Chinese language teaching and cultural understanding. The Vice-Chancellor emphasized the significance of the Chinese Bridge Competition in exposing participants to life-changing opportunities and promoting mutual understanding between Kenya and China. He urged students to showcase their brilliance and language abilities throughout the competition, underscoring the value of proficiency in Chinese for global competitiveness.

The presence and support of the Chinese Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Kenya were gratefully acknowledged by the Vice-Chancellor. He expressed confidence in the positive outcomes of their collaborative efforts, empowering and equipping the younger generation with the skills needed to excel globally and transform Kenyan society. The Vice-Chancellor emphasized the mutual benefit and fruitful relationship between Kenya and China, envisioning future growth in faculty exchange, joint research, and development between the two nations.

The 16th Annual Chinese Bridge Competition promises to be a memorable event, encouraging cultural exchange, linguistic competence, and lasting connections between Kenya and China. With each passing year, the competition strengthens ties, fosters mutual understanding, and opens doors to exciting opportunities for participants, solidifying the bond between these two nations.

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