China, Philippines to jointly train Filipino Chinese-language teachers

China’s Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Philippine Department of Education announced on Tuesday that they would jointly train 300 Filipino Chinese-language teachers in public schools through a master of arts program in the next 5 years.

Under the program, the Philippine Department of Education will select 300 local Chinese-language teachers from the country’s public junior and senior high schools and send them to the Philippine Angeles University Foundation to further study Chinese for two years with the scholarship provided by China’s Confucius Institute Headquarters.

Moreover, the 300 Philippine Chinese-language teachers will have the chance to go to Fujian Normal University in China for a half-year study. After receiving the master degree, they will return to their previous public schools to continue the teaching career.

The Philippine Education Secretary Leonor Briones said as the friendly relationship between the Philippines and China deepens, the bilateral economic and trade exchange and people to people exchange are growing.

"Knowing each other’s language is important to both countries," said Briones, "However, we don’t have too many local Chinese-language teachers in our public schools."

This master program can further deepen and promote the sustainable development of the Chinese-language teaching in the Philippines, she added.

According to the Philippine Department of Education, the Chinese language has been included in the country’s basic education curriculum since 2011. Chinese language teaching has been implemented smoothly and has continuously expanded in terms of location and the number of students in the Philippines.

Now there are 93 Philippine public junior and senior high schools offering Chinese language courses with more than 11,000 local students learning it.

Tian Shanting, the culture counselor of the Chinese embassy in the Philippines, said the master program with the scholarship of China’s Confucius Institute Headquarters is aimed to train qualified and high-level local Chinese language teachers.

"I wish that this program will be successful and I hope more and more Filipino students will learn Chinese," he added.

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