【彩神APP争霸8网页登录官方_彩神APP争霸8网页登录官网】Feature: Young Ethiopian students embark on Chinese language studies amid growing interest

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ADDIS ABABA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Genet Kebede, a 14-year-old primary school student in Ethiopia's Assela town, has been studying Mandarin Chinese language for more than a year, owing to her passion to the language and the Chinese culture.

Kebede, an 8th grade student in Ethiopia's Assela town some 165km south of the capital Addis Ababa, started learning the Chinese language as one of the first batch of young junior high school students in her town.

Due to her passion to Chinese language and her fast grasp of basic Mandarin, Kebede on Monday traveled to the capital Addis Ababa as one of the 15 finalists of the 2019 Chinese language proficiency competition, dubbed "Chinese Bridge," which attracted students from different schools in different parts of the East African country.

Sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, the 12th Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students was organized on Monday by the Confucius Institute at the Federal Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institute in Addis Ababa.

"I first joined Chinese language classes just because my childhood passion to the language and the Chinese culture in general such as Tai Chi and Kung Fu," Kebede told Xinhua on Monday, as she went on to describe the various opportunities that lie ahead as a result of her Chinese language proficiency.

"While I pursue my studies and the eventual interaction with my instructors, I realized various possible opportunities that are awaiting me ahead with the help of Chinese language proficiency," she added.

"God willing, I want to study Chinese language when I join college," Kebede said.

Amid the increasing demand for Chinese studies, the Confucius Institute offers free courses across various universities as well as technical and vocational education and training institutions.

In addition to the federal TVET Institute, Chinese language studies are also provided in four other public universities across Ethiopia, including the country's largest, Addis Ababa University, in the capital, Bahir Dar University, in Ethiopia's northwestern Amhara regional state, Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia, as well as Arsi University, in Ethiopia's largest Oromia regional state.

While previous opportunities of free Mandarin courses were largely focused on addressing the increasing demand from college students, concerted efforts by the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia and local education institutions have recently embarked on further expanding such opportunities to junior high school students.

Yan Xiangdong, Cultural Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, told Xinhua that a growing number of junior high school students have shown "a great interest to study the Chinese language" across the country.

"Over the past 10 years, we were only concentrated on providing free Chinese language courses to college students, and after reviewing our achievements we are now offering similar opportunities to high school students," Yan said, as he described the need to further expand the access to all interested Ethiopians in the future.

Yan also stressed that as the Ethiopia-China overall relations expands in many dimensions, strengthening cultural and language ties would further cement the friendly relations among the two countries' peoples.