A delegation of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport recently paid a four-day visit to China to study the development of the Chinese language curriculum at public secondary schools.

Led by ministry undersecretary of state Put Samith, the officials hope to use their acquired knowledge to develop Chinese language education in Cambodia.

The August 21-24 visit provided an opportunity to exchange in-depth viewpoints on the implementation a Chinese language memorandum of understanding (MoU) which the ministry has signed with China, it said in an August 24 statement.

At the MoU signing ceremony, Hu Zhiping, deputy director-general of the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC), noted the close and long established friendship between the two nations.

As their bilateral cooperation has deepened in all sectors, human resource demand for language skills have increased.

“This year marked the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and China and the Year of Cambodia-China Friendship. On this special occasion, we intend to provide active support for Chinese language education in Cambodia, so language skills will be of high quality,” Hu said.

Samith echoed the sentiments, noting that over the past 65 years, Cambodia and China have established an “ironclad” relationship, and the recent MoU had deepened education cooperation between the two countries.

“To push the implementation of the MoU, we have established a coordinating committee for Chinese language education, with education minister Hang Chuon Naron at the helm. It will develop Chinese language education in Cambodia effectively and efficiently. As part of the first phase, 20 public secondary schools are now teaching Chinese,” he said.

The ministry’s statement said that to date, more than 100 of Cambodian educational institutions have trained more than 100,000 students in the Chinese language.

In recent years, the CLEC has provided the Royal Academy of Cambodia with assistance in conducting Chinese language pedagogical training for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and offered support for the training of Chinese language teachers in the Kingdom.