NAIROBI, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to introduce teaching of Mandarin Chinese in primary schools in 2020, a government official said on Monday.
Julius Jwan, CEO Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), told Xinhua in Nairobi that the design, scope and sequence of the mandarin syllabus have already being completed.
"Beginning 2020, we will commence teaching Mandarin as a foreign language from grade four for pupils who wish to learn the Asian language," Jwan said.
Mandarin will be taught as a foreign language alongside French, Arabic and German.
Jwan said that children in lower primary will be taught vernacular languages, adding that teaching of Mandarin will be introduced as part of the Competency Based Curriculum that is being rolled out this year.
KICD said that Mandarin can no longer be ignored in Kenya because it is one of the most widely spoken languages globally.
"The place of China in the world economy has also grown to be so strong that Kenya stands to benefit if its citizens can understand Mandarin," Jwan said.
The CEO noted that Kenya will also be able to attract more Chinese tourists if it increases the number of local Mandarin speakers.
He observed that even for the job market it will be a big advantage for Kenyans to improve their Mandarin language skills.
He revealed that Chinese is also being prioritized because it is one of the official languages of the United Nations.