National University of modern languages NUML started introduced a new course of teaching the Chinese language to the Pakistani students in September 1970. Back than learning mandarin was something a young student would be interested in until or unless he really needed to. Namely, Confucius Institute, Islamabad — the rebranded Chinese language department, this new initiative was hard to understand at that time so there were only 13 students enrolled in this course.
With the passage of years, a great shift of interest was observed in this course, one of the reasons may the cumulative Pakistan-China friendship. Youngsters believed that there are better scope perspectives in this area of studies as the friendship between these two nations can give rise to certain mega projects in Pakistan where language will be a key factor to clasp those opportunities.
Till now many have benefited them with this course. “Thousands of students have learned Mandarin [at NUML] and have gone on to pursue professional roles in different fields.” Says Rasheeda Mustafa, who has been teaching Mandarin at NUML for the past 19 years.
Now the NUML is observing the greatest interest in Mandarin. With CPEC introduced this course is also in high demand by the youth of the nation. Perhaps to match this increasing demand, the Chinese government had contributed towards the expansion of the Confucius Institute at NUML back in 2015. “This center will contribute towards cementing Pak-China relations,” Zhang Daojian, a lecturer at the institute.
Sources suggest that the enrollment has doubled since last few years due to keen interest was shown by students. The reason for this growing interest is the investments made by China especially in the northern areas of the nation. This year, 460 students have been admitted into the program, 300 in the morning and 160 in the evening.
Not only in the capital but other metropolitan cities of the country are observing something similar. Now when the demand is so high not only universities but schools have also started the same practice as introducing the Chinese language as part of their studies. Roots International School has started the program keeping in view the significance and influence of Chinese Mandarin.
Well, this growing interest is great for harmony and building a strong relationship with China as both these nations can achieve an immense amount of success together. We hope to continue this goodwill for a longer time period without any visible hindrance.