FREETOWN, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- More than 1,400 Sierra Leoneans received training in various disciplines in China in 2018, Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone said Tuesday.
Among them, 1,300 people from all walks of life acquired the opportunities through Chinese government sponsorship, while 100 students studied in China through Chinese government scholarship program, Wu Peng told a Spring Festival activity organized by the Confucius Institute at Fourah Bay College in the country's capital Freetown.
"In October 2018, 18 college students from the University of Sierra Leone (USL) were awarded with Chinese Ambassador scholarship. This scholarship is an annual program for outstanding performances in studies as well as their knowledge in China and China-Sierra Leone bilateral relationship," he added.
He pledged continued close cooperation between the governments of the two countries in the field of human capacity building.
"Sierra Leone and China have long history of diplomatic relationship, and we have benefited so much especially in the areas of education, infrastructural development, technical support, investment and trade," said Winston Webber, deputy registrar of USL's College of Medicine and Allied Health Science, on behalf of USL's vice chancellor and principal.
He Mingqing, Director of the Confucius Institute at USL, said in the past six years the Confucius Institute has set up courses at different levels, including Chinese major at the undergraduate levels of the university and Chinese credit courses.
He said that the Confucius Institute has established 14 teaching sites, covering pre-school, elementary school, secondary school, vocational and university levels, with students coming not just from schools, but communities and enterprises as well. He said the number of registered students of the Confucius Institute reached 5,000 in 2018.
The institute has organized innovative cultural events, such as international conferences, academic seminars and medical lectures, the director said, adding that they have also set up a Taichi garden as a landmark symbol for martial arts and Taichi at the institute.
The institute organized a well-received job fair for the first time last year for domestic and international enterprises in Sierra Leone, providing 3,500 positions to USL graduates, he said.