Friday, September 9, 2011

Sindh to Teach its Children Chinese

Sindh is one of 4 Pakistani states, lying in the South West. It has around 1/3 of Pakistani population, including the bulk of the small Hindu minority. Nearly 50% of the people live in urban areas, including the former capital city of the country, Karachi.

Despite this cosmopolitan nature, Sindh has many problems. Its education system may be better than most of Pakistan, as seen by the literacy level of above 65%, well ahead of the national average. But, problems are there, including the shortage of teachers and facilities. The Sindh government is now adding to it by planning to make Chinese language compulsory from Grade 6 upwards from 2013.

This move, taken by a Commonwealth country's state government, is a surprise. However, it epitomizes the realities facing the world today. Yet, it seems to be a premature action.

The world economic epicenter is moving towards Asia. As erstwhile economic giants and their allies are feeling the pains of a recession, China is rising as an economic giant. The oriental civilizations seem to be returning to what they were centuries ago-the world's wonders. Chinese economy is now having a huge impact not only in Asia, but also on the United States and Europe as well.

Because of these developments, there is a emerging interest to learn the Chinese language, especially the Mandarin dialect. Although it is the most widely spoken language of the world, a very few wanted non-Chinese to learn it. Not anymore.

However, the move by the Sindh government is simply baffling. While they have enough issues to attend to with regards to the education, they have created a new problem as if its no big deal! Teaching Chinese, let alone learning it, is no easy task. To learn it, like any language, constant practice is needed. To a vast number of people who have no idea what Chinese is, it will be an additional challenge.

The students who attend the schools of Sindh have enough subjects to torment them. However, the government thinks otherwise.

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