KAMPALA – A delegation from the Shandong Province, China on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, visited Makerere University and presented the Nishan House; a symbolic representation of the birthplace of Confucius, the great philosopher after whom Confucius Institutes are named.
The delegation was led by Mr. Fu Zhifang, President of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPC).
Earlier, the delegation had visited the Confucius Institute (CI) at Makerere where they unveiled the Nishan House.
According to the Shandong Friendship Publishing House website, Nishan House has since establishment served as an important platform to collect and exhibit the excellent achievements of human civilizations and to promote the cultural exchanges between China and other countries. The Nishan House at Makerere will add to the 25 Nishan Houses located in 14 countries worldwide.
Welcoming the delegation, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba extended warm greetings from the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe who is away on official duty.
He thanked the President and his delegation for taking time off their visit to Uganda to meet the University Management, tour the Confucius Institute and unveil the Nishan House.
He noted that China through the Confucius Institute was reaching out to the wider section of the Ugandan community by offering Chinese language classes to secondary school students and members of the public. He shared that Makerere University had responded by “offering the Bachelor of Chinese and Asian Studies as a way of giving our students certified degrees for their linguistic knowledge of Mandarin.”
The Director, Confucius Institute at Makerere, Prof. Xia Zhuoqiong in her presentation to the delegation shared that her Institute was hailed as the best worldwide on 5th December 2018 during the 13th Confucius Institute Conference held in Chengdu, China. She added that to help extend services closer to the population CI currently has seven teaching sites in Uganda.
Prof. Zhuoqiong added that CI conducts training for Chinese teachers in Ugandan secondary schools and in September 2019, held its first Seminar for the educators. The Seminar held at Luyanzi College Bweyogerere was aimed at improving Ugandan Chinese teachers’ understanding of Chinese teaching and enhancing their level of instruction in the same.
Mr. Fu Zhifang in his remarks expressed heartfelt thanks to Makerere University for the warm reception and hospitality extended to his delegation.
He also lauded the University Management for maintaining an atmosphere that is conducive to the pursuit of academic excellence and promotion of cultural exchanges at the campus.
He assured the young people that they would enjoy boundless opportunities in the future if they went on to master Mandarin through the degree programme and courses offered by the Confucius Institute.
President Zhifang also noted that Confucius Institute belongs to the world and serves as a great opportunity to promote people to people exchanges. He then presented the DVCAA with a gift of the Shandong people, depicting important historical figures.