With the rising demand for Chinese teachers in Ireland, both native and non-native, the UCD Confucius Institute has been busy devising training programmes to meet the demand.
As UCD CII’s courses are run nationwide, everywhere from Wexford to Donegal, this puts a particular strain on the resources available.
However, solutions are emerging, and Galway Education Centre is a vital element at the heart of this new solution.
Demand for Chinese Studies classes in post primary schools in the Galway/Mayo and broader western Ireland region has been especially strong. Not only that, but there has also been very strong demand for a local venue in which teachers in these areas can avail of culture and language training such as that provided by UCD CII in Dublin. The first of the language courses, a 10 week basic Mandarin and Chinese teaching skills module held early this year, attracted nearly 20 Irish teachers and was a great success.
Bernard Kirk, director of the Galway Education Centre, travelled to UCD on Monday to meet UCD CII director Dr. Wang Liming and discuss plans for a regional training centre in the GEC in Galway city.
Mr. Kirk is keen to help develop Chinese Studies in the region and hopes in the future to secure ‘Confucius Classroom’ status for the Galway Education Centre, which would see it developed as a hub for training and learning in Chinese.
The two directors agreed to form a strategic partnership to promote Chinese Studies in the Galway and western Ireland region. They have also agreed to immediately put in place a plan to arrange training for Irish teachers of Chinese Studies programmes in post primary schools in western Ireland. This plan will be put in place for the teachers by the start of the school semester in September.
Mr. Kirk expressed great enthusiasm for the growth and promotion of Chinese Studies in Galway and surrounding regions.
Mr. Kirk expressed great enthusiasm for the growth and promotion of Chinese Studies in Galway and surrounding regions, saying "Galway Education Centre, the Department of Education and Skills funded trainer of teachers, is honoured to be chosen to partner with the Confucius Institute for Ireland. This is a major development for teachers and young people in the West of Ireland. We look forward to cooperating with the Confucius Institute for Ireland to progress and further develop the exciting, innovative and vitally important work the Institute are currently undertaking in Ireland."