By Vera Anyagafu
Concerned by the state of Nigeria’s education sector, the Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China in Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian, has disclosed China’s interest in helping to revamp the sector.
Ambassador Zhou who disclosed that his country will not relent in its efforts towards improving education at various levels in Nigeria, made this know in Lagos at the conference on “Forum on Belt and Road Initiative and Production Capacity Cooperation Between China and Nigeria.”
According to him, China-Nigeria cooperation is a very comprehensive and strongly bonded one, adding that education, which is a key component of the ties, is also very pertinent to both countries’ relationship.
The ambassador said that the Chinese government last year, renovated some schools in Lagos and some states across the country, adding that China has also instituted two Confucius institutes in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, for the teaching and learning of mandarin to afford people of both countries, the opportunity to communicate better with one another while doing both businesses and studies.
Speaking also, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Vice Chancellor, Prof Taiwo Ogundipe, who enjoined the Chinese government to ensure that its presence is felt in the University, commended the government’s efforts for the completion of a Confucius institute in the University.
He therefore urged China, to as, a part of its cooperate social responsibility, construct at least a seven-storey building in UNILAG.
“Let them come together to invest in education and research so that it will be a win-win situation. The Chinese companies that are operating in Nigeria can now plough back into the society,” Prof. Ogundipe said, adding that UNILAG has benefitted from the education cooperation with China in the sense that some of the students are in China studying.
“Recently, we instituted the Nigeria-China Development Studies, in which we want to bring education, research, business and culture into focus. UNILAG has benefitted from this initiative,” Prof. Ogundipe, concluded
Also speaking, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, expressed the need to have Nigerians learn to read and write mandarin so as to communicate easily when doing businesses and other transactions with the Chinese people.
Governor Obaseki, pointed out that the Chinese system is so well developed with manuals, brochures and structures.
“If you do not understand mandarin or any of the Chinese languages, you are not likely to understand or work with them.’