AIOU plans to set up Chinese language Center at Gwadar

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ISLAMABAD, June 4 (APP): Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will soon set up a Chinese Language and Culture Centre at Gwadar in collaboration with Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication (BIGC).
A feasibility report to this effect is being prepared to establish the Centre at the earliest, according to a presss release on Sunday.
It will be an educational response to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui.
A Letter of intent has already been signed by the two sides to establish China’s Confucius Center here at the AIOU’s main Campus. The Gwadar’s Center will be first step forward to this direction to teach and popularize Chinese language in Pakistan.
Chinese language is going to play a key role in the region, promoting people-to-people contacts, due to the One Belt one Road’s initiative and the importance of CPEC.
There is a need to develop educational corridor as well to supplement CPEC through the language’s connectivity, he added.
Language, literature and cultural influence the mind of the people and are used as a tool to promote harmony and collective well-being of the people, that is the essence of One Belt One Road’s initiative of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, the VC said.
The proposed Language Centerhas been found viable, since
the local community as well as the Pakistani manpower, engaged
in CPEC have shown keen interest in its establishment.
As per the mutual agreement, BIGC will set up Chinese and
the Urdu learning Centre at their respective institution in Beijing
as well. The two sides will also start joint academic programmes particularly in the field of teachers’ training and the printing
technology that is commonly used by the educational institutions
to meet their academic requirements.
Both BIGC and AIOU have decided to start operating Confucius
Institute from Gawadar and then further in Islamabad and other
parts of the country like Gilgit, Skardu and Hunza.
In this scenario, AIOU has conducted a need-assessment study
to check the demand and need of Chinese Language and Culture among
the local community in Gwadar. The response from students, teachers,
workers and business community is highly encouraging.
Dr Zahid Majeed, Focal Person of the project from AIOU visited
Gwadar early this week and met all the stakeholders, who assured
their support in undertaking the project.
According to the Vice Chancellor, all possible efforts will
be made to start the center as soon as possible with the support of
the University’s regional office, local community and local
administration, including Gwadar Development Authority.
The Chinese side will be given the update for taking necessary
steps at their end.
Due to the decades’ old and deep-rooted Sino-Pakistan friendship,
AIOU wished to advance the Chinese language taking advantage of its location, its largest scale and widest coverage of students.
It was noted that due to communication barrier, seeking jobs
in some specific areas of CPEC’s related projects are also difficult,
so by offering Chinese courses the University will provide an
opportunity for the employers to work with the Chinese partners.
In the beginning, premise of a local educational institution
at Gwadar is likely to be used for this purpose. So far there is no
formal Chinese Language centre for the community. One private center
is working but they are charging fee from them people. Whereas, the
AIOU and BIGC will offer courses almost free of cost.