Today, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Operations, Planning, Doctrine and Training (ACDF OPD &T), Major General Fredrick Leuria on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) General Robert Kibochi, jointly with the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Mr Liu Xianfa officially inaugurated the Teaching of Mandarin Chinese Language at the Defence Forces School of Education and Languages (DEFSEL) in Langata Barracks.
In his address, Maj Gen Leuria acknowledged the efforts and role of the Chinese Embassy in partnering with KDF to pioneer the first Mandarin Chinese Language in the military.
ACDF OPD &T urged the students to seize the opportunity at hand to learn the Chinese language and challenged them to strive to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge of Mandarin Chinese Language because, language is the most preferred means through which people use for communication and cooperation as they exchange ideas.
Maj General Leuria underscored the significant of learning foreign language more so the Mandarin Chinese language which is used for interaction with more than 1. 5 billion people worldwide.
“Language is a tool that connects us in the world, and you know that language is the means through which people learn about each other and exchange ideas. Over one billion people in the world uses Mandarin Language, it is therefore advantageous that we have you now in the military learning it. We can be able to link well to the rest of the world through this language”, emphasized Maj Gen Leuria.
He further pointed out that through the Mandarin language, Kenya is able to foster good relations with the world as it opens the doors to frontier languages as well as deepening the complementary relations in trade, education, defence, and culture between Kenya and China.
Maj Gen Leuria acknowledged the speed with which the students are grasping the concepts of the Chinese language which they manifested while entertaining the guests through songs and dances, he urged the students to work tirelessly to meet the objectives of the course as he wished them success in their pursuit of the Mandarin Chinese Language.
During his speech, Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Liu Xianfa echoed sentiments of ACDF OPD &T and challenged the students to learn the Chinese phrase of modernisation which he said is the only shared dream of the world and any country should aim to achieve it by embracing the modernisation ideology for the betterment of the world.
Mr. Liu assured the learners and those present that the Mandarin Chinese Language offered by the Confucius Institute Students in the University of Nairobi is the best and challenged them to learn it for it is easy to comprehend. He was also impressed with the significant progress made so far by the learners.
Mr. Liu acknowledged the 60 years of cordial relationship between Kenya and China in strategic, comprehensive cooperation on military, education and trade and assured KDF continued support and cooperation.
On the other hand, the Head of Confucius Institute (UON) Prof Ms Shangxue Wang said they are honoured to partner with DEFSEL in offering the Mandarin level one course and pointed out that the Chinese Intensive course will soon start next year after the first module is over. This will see the students who excels get scholarships to study in China.
In his welcoming remarks, corps Commander Education Corps and Commandant DEFSEL, Colonel Godfrey Maroa said the school commenced the teaching of Mandarin Chinese language on 06 March 2023 with a total of 3+23 students drawn from the three services. Teachers and basic teaching and learning resources have been availed by the Chinese Embassy.
Present during the launch were; Garrison commander, Lang’ata Garrison Brig Isako Jaldesa, China Defence Attachee, Senior Colonel Qui Yawei, Senior Military Officers, Officers, Service Members and students of the Confucius Institute.