Chinese learning essential in relations between South Africa and China

Stellenbosch University’s Division of Community Interaction (DCI) hosted a very successful seminar on Chinese learning, in partnership with the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University (CISU) on Wednesday 16 November 2011.

The event was attended by Ms. Rolene Liebenberg, manager of DCI, Mr. Makwezi Maliwa, team manager of Stellenbosch schools, Mr. Johan Burger, Senior advisor to Mr. Maliwa, Dr F.H.M Galant, team manager of Paarl schools, 14 primary and high school principals in the Winelands Education District and all staff members at CISU. The Consul-general of China in Cape Town, Mr. Hao Guangfeng, and his wife, Consul Xu Defu, were invited to attend the meeting.

Mr. Johan Burger chaired the seminar. He briefly introduced Confucius’ life and his educational thought and emphasized the importance of learning Chinese under the current international economic trends. Ms. Liebenberg stated her views on the necessity and feasibility of teaching foreign languages in schools with regards to studying abroad, tourism, business contacts and academic exchanges amongst other aspects. She put forward her general idea on teaching Chinese in primary and high schools to the principals. Ms. Amy Yu, responsible for Chinese teaching in CISU, introduced China and Mandarin. She highlighted the prospects of Chinese language teaching in South Africa, against the background of the two countries’ close trade relationship. Her introduction to Pinyin, Chinese characters, vocabulary and grammar great;y sparked the principals’ interest.

Consul-general Hao Guangfeng later delivered an impromptu speech at the meeting. In the speech, he introduced Confucius’ thought of “providing education for all people without discrimination” and the function of Chinese language in developing children’s intelligence. He expressed his happiness at the fact that increasingly more people are engaged in learning Chinese in colleges and even primary schools. In conclusion, he expected attendees to make joint efforts in promoting exchanges and cooperation in educational fields between South Africa and China.

In concluding the seminar, Prof. Xie Zuoxu and other staff members of CISU answered the principals’ questions about resources of Chinese teachers, Chinese class implementing measures, class sizes, course offering and teaching models and funding.


 Mr. Johan Burger hosting the Chinese Teaching Orientation  Mr Hao and his wife visiting the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)


Article written by the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University. Photographer: Allen Luo