December 7, 2017 By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The Confucius Institute (CI) in the University of Sierra Leone(USL) has on 7th December, 2017 celebrated its 5th anniversary and the 1st anniversary of the Friends of Confucius Institute (FCI) at the Tai Chi Garden, Kortright, Fourah Bay College.
Making the keynote address and reading congratulatory message from Gannan Normal University, Director of Confucius Institute, Professor He Mingqing, said the institute was jointly established in the country by the University of Sierra Leone and the Gannan Normal University.
He said the institute was formally launched on September 27th,2012, adding that up to now it has set up 8 teaching sites including Fourah Bay College(FBC),Institute of Public Administration and Management(IPAM) , FBC primary and secondary schools ,British International school , the Sierra Leone Armed forces, amongst a host of others.
‘’In the past five years ,the total number of registered learners reached 10,365 through the teaching sites where the Chinese language lectures are offered for local students and communities,’’ he said.
He added that the institute has been able to strongly strengthen the mutual cultural and educational relationship between them and the people, stating that it has stirred an ever increasing heat of learning Chinese in Sierra Leone.
Principal Fourah Bay College, Prof. S.P. T Gbamanja, commended the hard work of the institute, adding that the Chinese have developed the educational sector in the country by helping lecturers take part in the Chinese summer camp and study in the Chinese top universities.
‘’Notably instructional materials and summer travelling for lecturers and even students, we remained thankful and pray that the institute and USL keep up the good work,” he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Wu Peng said the institute has an important mission to empower young people of Sierra Leone by teaching them the Chinese language.
‘’Over the past five years, the total number of registered students have reached more than ten thousand in Sierra Leone. I hope the Confucius institute of USL will continue to take inspirations from Confucius to encourage student’s interest and make the learning process a pleasure and delight,’’ he said.
The Chinese Ambassador said for this year, 113 SL students were awarded Chinese government scholarships, and that 6 from USL got Confucius Institute Scholarship, while more than 700 people went to China for short term training.
‘’Over the past years, the China Sierra Leone educational cooperation has achieved unprecedented historic heights.”
Vice President Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh, heaped praises on late President Siaka Stevens and Chairman Mao for uniting China and Sierra Leone, adding that there was still a continuation of the relationship between the two countries.
‘’China has been a friend in need and a friend indeed at all times as we are proud of them as friends,” he said.
The vice president said the county has benefitted from cultural and educational program from China, stating that today the country is boasting of having the first Chinese radio show in West Africa.
He appealed to the Confucius institute to construct a building that would become part of USL.
The celebration was climaxed by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Balanta Music Academy, and the Milton Margai College of Technology.