In a renewed effort to teach Mandarin to students, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced the language in 22 schools across the country.
The schools — in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Raipur, Jaipur and Kolkata — started teaching the language from January in classes VI and VII. For the pilot project, the CBSE has tied up with Hanban — China’s national office for teaching Chinese as a foreign language.
“Of the 22 schools, 11 schools are run by the Directorate of Education, Delhi Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and Jawahar Navodaya Samiti. The rest are independent schools affiliated to the CBSE,” CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said.
“Hanban has deputed 22 native Chinese teachers to teach Mandarin Chinese on a pilot basis in India. Chinese teachers will not only be able to teach their own language better, but will also add perspective. Students would also get to learn about the country, its art, culture and tradition,” he said.
Demand for learning Chinese has been growing. Recognising the fact, in 2011, the CBSE introduced Mandarin as a foreign language, but was forced to withdraw it in January 2012 because Indian teachers were unable to pick up the language.
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Mandarin, currently being taught on a pilot basis, is expected to be introduced as a full-fledged foreign language from April 2014. “Currently, the language is being taught more as a hobby class. But from the coming academic session, we hope to offer it as a full-fledged foreign language option, like French and German,” Jyoti Arora, principal, Mount Abu Public School, said.
Other schools in the city teaching Mandarin include Tagore International School (Vasant Vihar), Salwan Public School (Rajinder Nagar), KIIT World School (Pitampura), Rajkiya Pratibha Vidyalaya (Dwarka) and Rajkiya Pratibha Vidyalaya (Rohini).
Currently, the CBSE offers 34 languages at the secondary and senior secondary level, of which 12 are foreign languages.