Bosnian Serbs to Sign Deal on Expanding Chinese Teaching

The government of Republika Srpska, the Serbian-dominated entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has authorised the Ministry of Education and Culture in the entity on Friday to sign an agreement on the provision of Chinese classes with the Confucius Institute in Beijing

Taking into consideration the positive experience of some schools in which Chinese has already been introduced as an optional course, the education ministry says cooperation should now be expanded. Chinese was introduced in some schools in the RS as an optional language in September 2017.

The government says the agreement will be signed on Friday between Natalija Trivic, the RS Minister of Education, and Ji Ping, the Chinese ambassador to Bosnia.

"Some secondary schools have already enabled such an activity, and funding for teachers will be arranged with the Embassy of China. We also have the idea of studying Chinese at the University of the Faculty of Philology as an elective subject, and later as a compulsory, that is, as a department of the Chinese language," Banja Luka university Rector Radoslav Gajanin told the RS media.

The idea to teach Chinese in schools in the RS came from the former Chinese ambassador in Bosnia, Chen Bo, who suggested it to former RS president Milorad Dodik, current chairman of the Bosnian Presidency, in 2017 in Banja Luka. Dodik supported the idea, saying that it would be very useful.

Chinese companies are increasingly present in RS, with more investments announced recently, such as a 300-million-euro-worth highway project.

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