An Education Delegation from South Africa Visited SYSU
From April 22 to May 1, 2017, an education delegation from South Africa visited China. The event was hosted by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and undertaken by the Base for International Chinese Teaching Materials Development & Teacher Training (CTM) at Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU). Accompanied by Professor Qin Shengyong, Director of Confucius Institute of University of Cape Town (CIUCT), two education officials, four headmasters from South African primary and secondary schools participated in the event.
On the morning of April 24, the welcome ceremony was held on Guangzhou South Campus of SYSU. Gu Wenli, Deputy Director of Office of International Cooperation & Exchange and Executive Deputy Director of Office of Confucius Institute at SYSU, extended a warm welcome to the guests. She introduced SYSU's history, development, and its international cooperation and exchanges. She also expressed the hope to establish cooperation with secondary & primary schools and universities in South Africa. Professor Zhou Xiaobing, Director of CTM, introduced the general situation of CTM and teaching Chinese as a second language at SYSU, and detailed the study and life of international students from South Africa as well as the volunteer Chinese teachers.
Alan Mansfield Attwell, Director of Communication at Western Cape Education Department, thanked Hanban and SYSU for providing an opportunity to understand Chinese history and culture. He hoped that this visit would enhance cooperation and promote friendship between the two sides. Michelle Elizabeth Coetzee, Deputy Principal of Groote Schuur High School, introduced the general situation of the school. She thanked Hanban for opening Confucius Classroom which provided a platform to learn and built a bridge to communicate.
Experiencing Chinese Culture: Chinese Fan
During their stay in Guangzhou, the delegation attended a series of lectures about Chinese education system and general introduction of China, which deepened their understanding of the new curriculum reform in basic education throughout China, and the history, geography, custom and cultural taboos in China. Besides, the delegation visited the Affiliated Primary School of SYSU, at which they learned about the culture on campus, observed English classes and exchanged ideas on teaching with the teachers there. They also experienced the profound and unique Chinese culture, by having classes on calligraphy, tea art and Chinese fan, and having Morning Tea and visiting the Chen Clan Academy.
On April 27, the summing-up meeting was held at SYSU. Deng Shulan, Director of the Center for Language and Culture, Department of Chinese as a Second Language, School of Foreign Languages, expressed her vision of the event: to foster understanding and friendship, and to further develop exchange and cooperation between both sides. The delegation expressed their thankfulness to Hanban and SYSU, and their aim to promote the development of Chinese language teaching in South Africa.
From April 28 to May 1, the delegation took part in a series of cultural activities in Beijing, such as visiting the Tiananmen Square, the Palace Museum, and Peking University.
It is learned that eleven delegations have visited SYSU through the events hosted by Hanban and undertaken by CTM since 2011. A total of 176 principals and officials from countries including the USA, France and Thailand, have experienced Chinese culture and communicated with various teachers from schools in Guangzhou. This visit to China increases the delegation’s understanding of Chinese language, culture and education, and enhances the local Chinese teaching and the cross-cultural communication between South Africa and China.