KATHMANDU, Aug 5: As soon as Wan Hai Lu, the Chinese teacher, entered the classroom, the students got up promptly and said “Lao si Hao”. “Thong sam hao,” replied the teacher. Waving both her hands at the students, she said “chiampo” and everyone sat down saying “Shi shi lao si” meaning ‘thank you’ in Chinese.
This is a scene from grade two of Valley View Secondary School in Baneshwar. The Chinese teacher teaches in a different method in this school and the students love her method. She includes dancing, singing and acting as her teaching methods.
In the course of their study, the students and the teacher sing a song about the love of a friend in Chinese. Ashutosh, who prefers to speak to his friends in Chinese even during the recess loves the way his teacher teaches.
“Because Miss Lu teaches in a fun way, I like studying the language,” said he while snacking. “I also speak in Chinese with my mom. My mom also likes Chinese language,” he says.
His classmate Aditya Bhandari loves the way Lu acts. “When Miss Lu sings and dances while teaching, I find it very interesting,” said Aditya, “I never get bored.” The students say that they don’t like missing Miss Lu’s class.
Lu, who has been volunteering in Nepal as a teacher for the past two years, shared that Nepali children have the quality to learn things quickly. “In a class of 40 minutes, the children finish learning everything within 20 minutes,” she said adding, “I feel happy in getting to teach my art, culture and language to Nepali children.”
To better inform the children, they are also taught kung fu and Chinese sports. The Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu also organizes festivals time and again to let the children learn about the language, culture and religion in China.
According to the Principal of Valley View School, Dev Raj Paneru, starting class one to seven, the children are taught Chinese language as part of their extra curriculum activity.
He also informed that the classes were introduced because the parents wanted it. “China is moving ahead fiercely economically and hence, like English, the Chinese language market is growing. And upon the request from the parents, we introduced the language class,” said Paneru.
“In the 21st century, it’s all about globalization,” he said, adding, “The market is growing in China and a lot of business is done with the neighboring country. To make sure that our students do well when they pass out of school, we are teaching them Chinese language.”
The language system is being looked after by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu and the school only provides food and classes. Kamala Chudal, currently teaching grade two of the same school, said, “When the Chinese language teacher arrives, the children respect her and are learning the language in a fun way.”
The Embassy had received permission from the Ministry of Education to start teaching the language in schools eight years ago.
According to Basanta Shrestha, General Secretary at the Information Center at the Chinese Embassy and Coordinator of the Chinese Teachers Management, when the course was first introduced only a few schools in the Valley took it up.
But now, schools in and outside the Valley total to 60 who are currently running the course. He added that the course starts from class one and goes all the way to grade 12.
GEMS, Little Angels, Ullens, Valley View, VS Niketan, Malpi, DAV, Rupy’s International, EPS, Alok Vidya Ashram and Rose Bud schools are a few to name who are currently running the Chinese language classes. Outside the Valley in Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Kaski and Chitwan, classes are also up and running.
“A lot of students opt to study in China and the business ties are growing every day,” informed Shrestha, adding, “The demand is high from the student’s side. We have been hiring local teachers who can teach Chinese language to run the classes smoothly.” The teachers will have to attend 16 to 20 classes a week and the Embassy manages it for the schools.
The rise in Chinese tourists, Chinese goods and the stronghold in the business sector has led the Embassy to run this program free of cost, said Shrestha.