‘Economic benefits’ in learning Mandarin

(file photo) Downshire School is the hub for the Carrickfergus Confucius Project.
(file photo) Downshire School is the hub for the Carrickfergus Confucius Project.

Increasing the opportunities available for young people in Carrickfergus to learn Mandarin Chinese can bring significant cultural and economic benefits.

That was the message from Education Minister John O’Dowd after meeting Ms Shuying Wang, the Chinese Consul General, to discuss ways to enhance business and educational links with China.

Mr O’Dowd said: “The Ulster University has already done excellent work in this regard, its Confucius Institute being responsible for establishing eight hubs in schools across the north. These hubs are centres for the teaching of Mandarin Chinese among partner schools in their respective local areas, with children in both the primary and post-primary phase benefitting.”

Downshire School is the Carrickfergus hub for the Confucius Classroom Project, where sixth form students who undertook their first language tests achieved “excellent results”.

The minister concluded: “Learning about Chinese language and culture contributes to our young people becoming global citizens with an informed and rounded world view. The potential economic benefits and career opportunities are also manifold.”

Downshire School is the Carrickfergus hub for the Confucius Classroom Project, where sixth form students who undertook their first language tests achieved “excellent results”, according to principal Jacqueline Stewart.