|Students perform Chinese martial arts during the inauguration ceremony of the Confucius Institute at the Free University of Tbilisi in Tbilisi, Georgia, Nov. 26, 2010. The Confucius Institute is jointly established by Free University of Tbilisi and China's Lanzhou University based on the Chinese language department of the Free University of Tbilisi. [Liu Lihang/Xinhua]
The South Caucasus country of Georgia on Friday opened its Confucius Institute to enhance the country's Chinese teaching and learning capability.
The Georgian Confucius Institute has already started its first class of 12 students who get three lectures a week to begin with. The management of the Georgian Confucius Institute is planning to open enrollment to include applicants from outside the Georgian Free University, which plays host to the Confucius Institute.
The Lanzhou University of China is the collaborator of the Georgian Confucius Institute, which is among the 554 Confucius Institutes or Confucius Classes so far opened in 88 countries and regions across the world.
Georgian Deputy Education Minister Nodar Surguladze attended the opening ceremony of the Georgian Confucius Institute. Also present were Chinese ambassador to Georgia Chen Jianfu, Georgian Free University President Kakha Bendukidze and Rector Guram Chikovani as well as Chinese Lanzhou University Deputy Rector Jing Tao.
Deputy Minister Surguladze described language teaching and learning at the opening ceremony as the key to opening the door to country-to-country exchanges while the Chinese ambassador agreed by saying that language is the medium for inter-culture and inter- civilization communications.
The Georgian Free University has a history in Chinese language teaching and learning. It already boasts of four Georgian professors and lecturers of the Chinese language.
The graduates from the university have just started a teaching program of the Georgian language in the Peking University in China.