The introduction of the Chinese language in Indonesia is intended not only for education purposes, but also expected to act as a bridge for a closer relationship between Indonesia and the People's Republic of China, an Indonesian official said.
"If necessary, Indonesia will have Chinese Education Center in the near future," Makmuri Muchlas, secretary-general at the Ministry of National Education, was quoted by the Jakarta-based Kompas daily as saying Tuesday.
Muchlas added that over the past two years Chinese education had developed rapidly in Indonesia in line with more open relationship between the two countries in many areas, such as tourism, business and culture.
He also said that the Ministry of National Education would keep promoting cooperation with its Chinese counterpart and other leading education institutions in a bid to widely introduce the Chinese language and culture to Indonesia.
"More accountable Chinese language teachers are also important parts of the efforts to increase the quality of education here," Muchlas stressed.
The ministry closed Monday the 14-day upgrading program for Chinese language teachers, attended by 103 participants here and in Surabaya, capital of the East Java province.
On the occasion, an official said that the knowledge in the Chinese language would be very helpful to support the national economy in the era of free market, primarily because some major cities in Indonesia had already established direct contacts with China.
"The mastery of the Chinese language can be utilized as the instrument to establish business contacts with China, because some major cities here have had close relationship with China since long time ago," said Ekodjatmiko, another official in the ministry.
(People's Daily July 17, 2002)