Saudi schools start teaching Chinese language

Minister of Education Dr.Hamad Alshaikh inspecting schools during the first day of the second semester in Riyadh.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — With the start of the second semester of the current academic year, some schools in Saudi Arabia have started teaching Chinese language to pupils, Ibtisam Al-Shehri, spokesperson of Public Education, announced on Sunday.

In the first phase, the language is being taught in a total of eight secondary schools for boys, and these included four schools in Riyadh, and two each in Jeddah and the Eastern Province.

Al-Shehri said in her Twitter account that the Chinese language will be an optional subject. It represents the first phase of the ministry’s plan to teach the Chinese language on a larger scale and that also includes female students.

It is noteworthy that the decision to teach Chinese language in Saudi schools was made during the visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to the Chinese capital Beijing in February 2019. According to an agreement signed between the two countries during the visit, Chinese language will be part of the Saudi educational curriculum in all phases of school and university education.

It is aimed at strengthening friendship and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China and deepening the strategic partnership at all levels in a way realizing the aspirations of the Saudi and Chinese leaderships.

The inclusion of Chinese language in the curriculum will enhance the cultural diversity of students in the Kingdom and contribute to the achievement of future national goals in the field of education under Vision 2030. It is an important step toward opening new academic horizons for students of various educational levels in the Kingdom. Learning Chinese as a bridge between the two peoples will contribute to increasing trade and cultural ties, it was reported.