|Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Ma Hui (F) delivers a speech at Fructuoso Rodriguez High School in Havana, Cuba, March 7, 2022. [Photo by Joaquin Hernandez/Xinhua]|
HAVANA, March 7 (Xinhua) — Samuel Zayas, a 12-year-old high school student from Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion neighborhood, was happy to start learning Chinese as an optional subject.
He is one of nearly 130 seventh-graders at Fructuoso Rodriguez High School who will benefit from Chinese lessons in the new school year.
“I open the doors to my future,” he told Xinhua. “China is a very important economic power in the international arena. Learning Chinese will be difficult at the very beginning, but I think I made a wise decision.”
Marcelo Rodriguez, 12, said the course would help him better interact with the tech world and gain insight into China’s impressive achievements over the past decades.
“If I travel to China, I will be able to communicate with native speakers,” he said. “No one knows what the future holds for me.”
For the first time in this Caribbean country, the Cuban Ministry of Education on Monday introduced a Chinese course in secondary education.
Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Ma Hui said the two countries have taken an important step to develop their relations through culture and education.
“Learning a foreign language is very important,” he said at the opening ceremony of the course. “I fully believe that knowing Chinese culture and language will bring many opportunities for students in the future.”
The Chinese Embassy in Cuba provided the school with textbooks, dictionaries, textbooks and traditional toys to use as teaching aids during Chinese lessons.
The school’s director, Carlos Camejo, expressed his confidence in the success of the course, saying that more educational centers across the country would join the initiative in the coming years.
“China and Cuba have a strong brotherhood,” he told Xinhua. “I have no doubt that the Chinese lessons will be very positive for the intellectual development of our students.”
In recent years, interest in studying Chinese has grown in Cuba as relations between Cuba and China continue to strengthen.
Chinese teacher Hou Jiaqi, 26, told Xinhua that she felt honored to be working in Cuba for a new professional experience.
“I hope my students can eventually become proficient speakers of Chinese and that this course can continue to pave the way for stronger ties between China and Cuba,” she said.
|Chinese teacher Hou Jiaqi (1st, L) gives Chinese lessons at Fructuoso Rodriguez High School in Havana, Cuba, March 7, 2022. [Photo by Joaquin Hernandez/Xinhua]|