Administrator defends teaching of Mandarin in Nigerian schools
The Administrator Grace High School, Gbagada, Lagos, Mrs. Tokunboh Edun, has explained that the school will continue to teach her students Chinese language, also known as Mandarin, despite criticism by stakeholders that Nigerian children are learning more foreign languages at the expense of indigenous languages.
Edun spoke in Lagos at the public presentation of Chinese Made Easy, a book written by Mr. Olaniyi Banwo of the University of Lagos. The book, which translates Chinese words into Yoruba, is meant to teach Yoruba speakers how to learn Mandarin.
According to Edun, those who are complaining against exposure of Nigerian students to foreign languages are not mindful of current trends in world policies and business. She disclosed that Grace High School became the first private school to introduce Mandarin to Nigerian students because the school is aware of latest trend worldwide. She added that “right now, Europeans and Americans are learning how to speak Chinese language because of the giant strides attained by china in global business and International relations. Learning mandarin has become a global trend which cannot be ignored by those who want to play an effective role in global business.”
Mrs. Edun said she has discovered that students who can speak major international languages like French, English and Chinese often have an edge in terms of competition for international jobs. “A mastery of Chinese language gives the speaker access to business opportunities in the most populous country of the world.”
The school administrator, while commending the author for making Chinese language easy to learn by Yoruba speakers and making Yoruba easy for mandarin speakers, gave three reasons Nigerians should take learning of Chinese language as a serious business. First, she observed that the Chinese are making rapid in-roads to Africa. In recent past, the latest data indicates that China is clearly emerging as Africa’s biggest trading partner. Also she observed that Chinese investment in Africa is expanding in many sectors like Agriculture, Industry and Social infrastructure. Edun also noted that even in terms of population, it is a known fact that one out of five human beings is a Chinese.