Five volunteer teachers have left for the Indian Ocean republic country Mauritius to teach Chinese, sources with the China National Office of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language said Saturday.
They were the first group of volunteers sent under the country's international program for Chinese language teaching.
The volunteers, aged between 24 and 30, have bachelor's or master's degrees, and four of them used to teach in China.
According to the office, foreign learners of Chinese have topped 25 million around the world, and Chinese courses are available at schools and training organizations in about 100 countries.
The Chinese government sends Chinese teachers overseas every year but the number does not meet demand, the office said.
The countries including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Egypt, South Africa, Mexico and France have requested more Chinese teachers.
In April this year, the program started recruiting volunteer teachers to serve overseas from half a year to two years.
In Mauritius, about a dozen schools have been offering Chinese classes over the past two decades. More than 1,200 people are studying at these schools. This year, Chinese was officially put into the curriculum of the country's primary schools.
(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2004)