Antigua hints at plans to teach Chinese in schools

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(OBSERVER by Newsco) Discussions are underway to expand the foreign language curriculum in schools.

This expansion will see Mandarin being taught in other schools beside the Sir Novelle Richards Academy, which to date is the only public school in Antigua and Barbuda that has an official Mandarin department.

According to the Director of Education, Clare Browne, plans are being put in place to have the language taught in other secondary schools as well.

However, the missing element, he said, is the number of teachers in that field.

“We have to have Mandarin teachers to spread it across all the 13 public secondary schools that we have. At this time, we have not had, at least I do not know of any application that has come before us for teaching Mandarin and so, once we are able to find teachers,” Browne said.

He explained that there should be at least two to three Mandarin teachers, depending on the size of the school plant.

Due to this need, the director made a call for persons interested in teaching the language to apply at the Ministry of Education.

“I know several persons here in Antigua and Barbuda would have studied in China … and if they are interested in offering themselves to be a teacher of Mandarin in any of our schools, feel free to apply.

“We would love to take Mandarin to other schools. As a matter of fact, I was just discussing with the deputy director and Mrs Mills the other day of taking Mandarin because they have started a kind of sort of way at Glanvilles Secondary and so, we wanted to put it there in a definitive, kind of way. Once the resources allow, once we are able to find a human resource, we will spread it as quickly as we can,” Browne added.

Browne was speaking on Thursday morning at the press conference to announce this year’s CSEC results.

Last year, CEO of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Dr Wayne Wesley hinted at plans for the inclusion of Mandarin across the region.

Mandarin is a group of Sinitic (“Chinese”) languages and dialects that are natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China.

French and Spanish are the two modern languages which are generally taught for the CSEC curriculum but in 2017, 65 students from Barbados and Guyana registered for the exam to write Portuguese for the first time.

In 2013, Guyana became the first country to have Portuguese taught in secondary schools.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Son of Mami_Wata and Papa_Elegba looks at the #SWASTIKA at the crossroad which the Nation finds itself at, in terms of, its future development socially, culturally, economically and ask, where is #SWAHILI at?
    Mandarin is fine to understand, the complexities of the world’s economy and how to manoeuvre in it. However, for people’s of African decent and lineage, and with the importance, significance still, still, still, of the African Continent to world economies to include CHINA, where is #SWAHILI, and why isn’t this language included in the revised curriculum for the Public Schools regarding foreign languages?

  2. My God, teaching the language of an aggressor communist dictatorship. Your defence people should at least have a working knowledge of simplified chinese, but contaminating your society at large…My God.

    China is sinister and their people approve of their government’s evil.

    • @Scott…
      …son of Mami_Wata and Papa_Elegba who realizes, that a #SWASTIKA lives at each and every #Crossroad, and will be persecuted for accepting this reality of HUEman existence will also accept the fact, that the Chinese are relentless and will stop at nothing to gain World Dominance, as a Nation. However, haven’t some of China’s tactics based upon those utilized by North America and Europe?

      Nations like Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA find themselves between a rock and a hard place like a ‘soldier_crab.’ The only immediate solution to survive the storm is to leave your shell behind like the soldier crab and try and find a new shell before the bigger animals make you their next meal.
      Besides the Tourism dollar which flowed into Nation’s like Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA, the USA & Europe, the main opposition to the Chinese move on these fragile economy’s, what Industries have they helped to nurture on these SIDS?
      I’m quite sure, that you’re aware of the destruction and devastation of the Internet Gaming Industry by the USA, regarding Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA.
      Europe basically did the same to Our Caribbean Agriculture Industry.

      As a young entrepreneur, you’re better off having a good understanding of such things as Manufacturing in China. Even seasoned International company’s use China to produce their products.

      So Scott, while China is being aggressive with its foreign policies as they pertain to the SIDS, Wall Street and other Industries, the clothing, the food, technology all have serious ties to China.
      We in the Caribbean have to walk a very fine line to survive the onslaught of the Worlds greedy super powers.

      Jumbee_Picknee

      • @Ras – your points are well-taken, I should have been more specific in that knowing what someone else might be saying about you for example is prudent. My comment was more societal in nature, in that I think to would be a terrible mistake to let chinese culture pervert that of Antigua, you have a rich monolithic culture, one I’d fight like hell to defend.
        You sound educated, so forgive me boring you with what you already know but for the benefit of others…
        Briefly, much like their economy, china’s “belt and road” initiative is on life support. Many if not most industrialized nations are “re-shoring” manufacturing to their native countries due to the high cost of transportation, long term factory closures because of COVID, a rapidly aging population, intellectual property theft, a rapidly shrinking population and an almost certain bursting of their housing “bubble”.
        With this in mind, when they get desperate, what stops china from calling their debtors? If that were to occur I’m fairly confident that china would resort to force to collect what they can.
        My solution? A massive tourism ad campaign in the states and direct flights from departure points OTHER THAN Miami. How cool would it be to be measured, say for a cool shirt, hand made by a street artisan, being constructed while you grabbed a bite of lunch next vendor over? Something handmade In Antigua, not in china, something that you want to keep, something that will last.
        Just a hint, Florida ended it’s fiscal year of 2021 with a 21.8 billion dollar budget surplus. We’re expecting to hit a record 185 million tourists. Like Antigua, a majority of Florida’s revenue comes from tourism.
        Ok…not so brief, sorry.

        • @Scott…
          A…with the power and purpose, of the internet I’ll speculate and say, that no one #culture will be dominant in the HUEman world fifty years from now.

          B…as far as Tourism goes in some regards, the Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA model is flawed.
          (i) the trickle down effect goes but so far, since, the #All_Inclusive model took over the industry.
          (ii) the major shareholders, owners, corporations, that have a vested interest in the Tourism Industry are not ‘local,’ therefore, most of the profits from the Industry are not circulated back into the local economy(the longer a dollar stays in a community, it’s likely it will serve that Community more favourably.
          (iii) the concessions/perks given to investors(foreign) vs those given to investors(local) must be addressed to help level the playing field, in order to keep more of the monies in the local economy!

          BTW – your response was not lengthy. I still read to be able to reason!

          RASpect….

          • @Ras – so the “all inclusive” tourist thing comes with a steep price tag called a loss of sovereignty?
            That thought is sensible unfortunately and a game changer to my thoughts, I guess I just have to spend more time thinking and learning, but I think the “high level” view is to keep it local.
            My wife and I were just looking at properties in Antigua and possibly Barbuda…we both have passion for the islands…but still much learning to do.

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  4. For Pete’s sake, what the hell is wrong with you people? The children can hardly speak English, a language that is their mother tongue. They are having trouble with the 2 other languages, Spanish and French.

    What is this? Our version of the WE-ARE-THE-FIRST-TO contest? Give our children a break, you egomaniacs. Stop confusing the children. Let’s teach them how to speak, read and write English first. Right?

  5. We managed to survive before China started invading the Caribbean with their people, slave labour and very ugly Chinese style buildings with bribes and humongous loan traps attached. Without exception every Chinese constructed building in Antigua is an eyesore on the landscape and especially so with the (constant issues from shoddy construction) airport and what they call an embassy that appears more like a military spying barracks with ‘disappear’ dungeons below ground. As has been stated the children need to learn to speak English properly followed by possible French and Spanish. Nobody from here is going to migrate to communist China, buy a house and live happily ever after…the Chinese hate black people and would not allow it. So, if this is a push coming from the new ambassador to fit in with the Chinese communist takeover agenda perhaps it is time for the govt. of A&B to show some leadership, support for democracy and freedom and firmly say NO.

    • @Jeb – in my opinion, china’s interest in Antigua is merely to expand it’s military presence to the Caribbean…and as a furlough destination for their military personnel.

      • @Scott. I agree and wish that more of the population would wake up and see the threat the Chinese present in this island and the region. The embassy is a monstrosity and should never ever have been allowed far less 5 acres of the country’s land. China has more than demonstrated that it is a real and evil threat to the free world. They have very little regard for life be it human, animal, marine or the environment. WAKE UP ANTIGUA.

      • You’ve hit the nail on the head. That is their objective. They are expanding their military presence global and strategically to compete with the USA, Europe and Japan.

  6. The major communist blocks like china and Russia was never part of the enslavement of Africans. We as black people continue to have an undying love affair with the evil Europeans who enslaved an exploited us. We continue to glorify the criminal exploits of these imperialist. What is wrong in learning a new language be it Russian, Mandarin, Portuguese or Swahili. We handicap ourselves by believing that we can make progress by speaking only English. Talk about aggression America is the most aggressive and bullying nation on the planet, everything must benefit America. The banking laws in our islands must be tailored to protect the great American interest at the expense of the poor and suffering. The tax going into the American from its overseas exploits must be protected.

  7. Teaching Mandarin? Why not teach proper English and Grammar in Schools.Teach Spanish and French,so that when Antiguans and Barbudans go to various Caribbean Countries they could communicate. Why teach Mandarin? To fall in line with the Chinese Dictator’s mandate.Poor Antigua and Barbuda,Chinese taking over.Soon we would be kneeling to the Chinese.Many of you thought the Colonials were bad.The Chinese would be worserer.They would dictate your religions and teachings.Look at the Chinese and their History of their own(UYGHURS) Muslims in China.WE AS A PEOPLE CANNOT AND SHOULD BE HELD HOSTAGE BY ANYONE.EVEN IF OUR LEADERS ARE IN THEIR POCKETS.

  8. Now the Chinese have Antigua and Barbuda in its pocket we now have to learn Chinese? How about learning the languages of the region first- French, Spanish, Dutch in an attempt to build strong coalitions and greater understanding of our neighbours? We need to open up our eyes and take stock of what is truly going on here. No to this being taught in our schools.

  9. One Thought or Two.
    STEM. ..STEM. …STEM!!! Pre-K to tertiary! Our education system MUST PRIORITIZE STEM and business curriculum powered by our OECS and Caricom creative Arts (consciousness) in EVERY PUBLIC SCHOOL and INSTITUTION year-round – in school, after school activities, summer.
    Our economic growth and social development REQUIRE that transformation from the colonial education for elite management and unskilled labor.
    We must get rid of our STEM INFERIORITY COMPLEX! STEM is achievable and rewarding for everyone, man and woman. We must want to know STEM and business principles so that we can apply the knowledge to start and build business enterprises and get things done to produce something of value.

    Respect!

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