Kenya holds Chinese language proficiency contest for secondary school students

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The 16th Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students in Kenya Division was held Thursday at Kenyatta University, the country's second oldest public institution of higher learning.

Hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Kenya in conjunction with Kenyatta University's Confucius Institute and corporate partners, the contest was held under the theme of "Fly high with Chinese."

Kenya's secondary school students were assessed on three parameters, including making a three-minute speech in the Chinese language, China's national knowledge test, and prowess in Chinese culture such as folk songs and dances, operas, calligraphy, painting, and martial arts.

Senior officials, diplomats, faculty members and young learners graced the Kenya Division finals of the Chinese Bridge.

Susan Mutune, the assistant director of Radio and Media at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, said the government recognizes the critical role of the Chinese language in fostering deeper Sino-Kenya economic and cultural ties.

"We look forward to building Chinese language competence and proficiency among young learners. This is borne out of the understanding that Mandarin promises vast opportunities for our youth," Mutune said.

Tang Jianjun, the counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, noted that the population of local youth keen to gain proficiency in the spoken Chinese language has increased, adding that it will revitalize cross-cultural understanding.

Zhou Xiaodong, the Chinese director at Kenyatta University's Confucius Institute, said the contest provided a platform for the young learners to showcase their understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

Telema Njoki, a junior secondary school student, was declared the overall winner of the contest, having demonstrated an impeccable grasp of spoken Mandarin. She received gifts and a certificate of honor for emerging as the overall winner in the competition and will also benefit from a sponsored trip to China later in the year. 

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