The Confucius Institute in Nigeria on Thursday said that there has being an overwhelming increase in demands from Nigerians willing to learn the Chinese Mandarin language.
Prof Wang Yongjing told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that there was a growing interest of different categories of Nigerians in learning to speak the language.
“We are currently being faced with the challenge of many Nigerian students wanting to learn the Chinese Mandarin language. “There are more and more parents who want their children to learn this Chinese language.
“They are even approaching us that our teachers can begin to teach their children at weekends. “But we do not have enough teachers to do this. The few Chinese teachers we have are only able to teach in 16 schools in Lagos alone,’’ she said.
The Director also said that it was not within the responsibility of the Institute to increase the number of its teachers, but it is up the Nigerians to apply for more Chinese teachers.
She said that the Institute was only working as a bridge between China and Nigeria, maintaining that it was the duty of Nigeria to request for more teachers from China.
Wang, who said that the institute had recently received eight teachers, four of whom were student-teachers, added that the teachers would stay in Nigeria for one or two years.
“Every one or two years, we would have new Chinese Mandarin teachers come to teach Nigerians the Chinese language before returning to China. “But with the increasing number of Nigerians interested in learning our language, we do not have enough teachers to satisfy the needs of Nigerians and even non Nigerians.
“However, if there is a request from Nigerians for more Chinese Mandarin language teachers to be sent here, we are encouraged to send more of our teachers to Nigeria.
“Our Institute is only working here to build bridges between China and Nigeria,’’ she said.
There are Chinese Mandarin Language Institutes in Abuja and Lagos.