Confucius Cabinet to open at school in Vitebsk

05 December 2014

VITEBSK (BelTA) – Confucius Cabinet is scheduled to open in Vitebsk at the foundation of secondary school №44, BelTA learned from the Director of the educational institution Sergey Pitolenko during visit of the official delegation from Jinan city (People's Republic of China) to Vitebsk.

The school authorities are now awaiting the decision of the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), where the request for the establishment of the Confucius Cabinet of the Confucius Republican Institute of Chinese Studies at the Belarusian State University in the educational institution was sent. The secondary school №44 is the only school in Vitebsk, which has been running Chinese language, culture and traditions classes for over 10 years. The school also provides wushu classes. Today, 145 students in grades from 1 to 8 are learning Chinese, 28 of whom had chosen Chinese as the primary foreign language. Children regularly participate in scientific conferences and will represent Vitebsk region at the first Republican Olympiad on the Chinese language on December, 6. The school classes are taught by two graduates of Chinese universities, whose salaries, according to the agreement between Belarus and China, are paid by the office of Hanban. The development of Sinology at the school №44 is strongly supported by the Chinese Embassy in Belarus.

Representatives of the Jinan delegation, headed by Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative City Council Feng Guangwen, praised the educational level and knowledge of Vitebsk students. According to the director Sergei Pitolenko, the equipment of the Confucius Cabinet, which includes an interactive whiteboard and computers, will allow students to achieve even greater results. The Cabinet will hold both required and elective classes, seminars and events in the history of Chinese culture and area studies.

In Belarus there are already working Confucius classrooms in several universities and institutions of secondary education. In Vitebsk, Chinese language is studied at the base of P.M. Masherov Vitebsk State University. “We are interested in paying more attention to human relations between our cities (Vitebsk and Jinan) and countries in general. The opening of the Confucius Cabinet in the Vitebsk school is a great example of strengthening links between socio-cultural institutions and educational institutions.” - Mr. Feng Guangwen said. As confirmation of these intentions and in honor of the 5th anniversary of the sister-city relationship, Vitebsk and Jinan authorities signed a memorandum on strengthening the relations in the sphere of culture and education. The signing took place during the meeting of the official delegation of Jinan with the lidership of Vitebsk, which was attended by representatives of business organizations of woodworking, engineering, tourism on both sides. The participants expressed their mutual interest in the development of trade and economic relations, since to this day the turnover is low. If in 2013 the turnover between Vitebsk region and China amounted to $231 million in total, than in the currant year, imports of Chinese products to the region reached $100 million (a third of which is from Jinan alone), while exports reached only $11 million.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus