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H.E. Ambassador Wang Ke's Remarks at 2016 Chinese Embassy Open Day in Honour of "Chinese Ambassador's Award" Winners

Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation,

The Honourable Ronald Jones,

Acting Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Mr. David Bulbulia,

Representative of the Principle of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Deputy Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology, Dr. Badenock Jeanese,

Co-directors of the Confucius Institute of U.W.I. Cave Hill,

Dr. Song Qingbao and Mr. Francois Jackman,

Associate Professor of Chinese at the Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature of U.W.I. Cave Hill, Dr. Fan Ruoen,

Principles, Teachers and Students from Local Public Schools,

Friends from the Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon and welcome to the Chinese Embassy.

The Embassy recently launched the “Chinese Ambassador’s Award” to honour the U.W.I. Cave Hill students academically excellent both in their GPA and Chinese Classes. Guided by the principle of fairness and openness, we have selected 4 such students, who were just granted the inaugural Chinese Ambassador’s Award. Also, Lenovo pads and presentations were awarded to 10 well-performed Confucius Institute trainees, and three sets of laptops and projectors contributed to three local public schools.

I shall warmly congratulate all the award winners and convey my hearty appreciations to Chinese teaching U.W.I. Cave Hill Campus, Ellerslie Secondary School, Queen’s College and St. Stephen’s Primary School and all the Chinese teachers and volunteers in Barbados.

A Chinese proverb goes like “If you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people”. As China and Barbados put the same emphasis on education, fruitful achievements have been made in the fields of education cooperation and people-to-people exchange. Especially, thanks to the support from U.W.I. and all walks of life in Barbados, Chinese teaching is now flourishing.

Since Chinese Classes were set up about five years ago, more than 130 U.W.I. students have enrolled in this course, among whom, 4 were praised for their academic excellence today. The U.W.I. Cave Hill Confucius Institute, since its establishment in 2015, has offered Chinese courses and training to almost 1800 persons both on campus and other agencies including BDF, Central Bank and the diplomatic corps in Barbados. 14 of the trainees have passed Chinese language proficiency test HSK Level-1 and enrolled for Level-2. I am very pleased to know that this Confucius Institute has gained approval as a Caribbean HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) testing centre for Mandarin, making it the first institute of its kind servicing Barbados and other Eastern Caribbean Countries. Additionally, Four local schools have set up Chinese courses with the assistance from the Confucius Institute. I salute you for your foresight and sagacity.

China is deepening its reform and opening to the outside world, “Chinese fever” around the world is continuing to heat up with some 200 million Chinese learners abroad, to master Chinese is not only to build up your professional skills and widen your international horizon, but also to create a broader platform for your future education and career.

I also would like to take this opportunity to convey my best wishes to the young students at presence today. The strength of a nation depends on its young generation. Vibrant and enthusiastic, you are the future of your family and hope of the nation. As a friend indeed, the Chinese Embassy always stands ready to offer a helping hand to your pursuit of success. I wish to encourage you to contribute to the prosperity and development of Barbados and play an active role in the enhancement of China-Barbados relations and the friendship between our two peoples, which happens to be the intention and meaning of “Chinese Ambassador’s Award”.

We will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of China-Barbados diplomatic relations in 2017. Looking into the future, I sincerely hope that the Chinese Classes at U.W.I. Cave Hill and the Chinese training at Confucius Institute will make greater achievement. I also hope that related ministries including Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will positively consider to list Chinese among the optional foreign language courses for Barbadian students. China remains committed to offer support and assistance in terms of academic personnel and teaching facilities. Let us make joint efforts to continuously deepen our cooperation in education and people-to-people exchange and forge an even brighter future of China-Barbados relations of friendly cooperation.

Thank you very much.

(Her Excellency Mrs. Wang Ke, Minister of Education the Honorable Ronald Jones

 taking pictures with the awardees from the UWI Cave Hill Campus

and representatives from 3 public schools)

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