A Queensland delegation member tries out a martial arts game at the Confucius Institute Headquarters on Friday. (Photo: Confucius Institute Headquarters)
An education delegation consisting of mostly principals from senior and primary schools in Queensland, Australia visited the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing on Friday with the aim of enhancing Chinese language teaching cooperation.
The Queensland education delegation began their China tour in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, on September 20, after which they traveled to several local schools throughout Jiangsu. The Australian principals show interest in building sister school relationships with Chinese schools.
According to Antonie Barnaart, director of the Confucius Institute at Queensland University of Technology, Chinese education has developed robustly in Queensland with support from the Queensland government.
More than 600 students from 66 schools took part in the state's Chinese language speech competition this year. The educators said they hope the Chinese program can be extended to special education and remote schools in the region. The delegation received broad introductions to different facets of Chinese culture, such as Peking Opera and chime bells.
Barnaart noted "communication extends beyond language and extends to cultural communication." Joanne Wernecke, a principal from a school which has only 16 students, told media that there is no foreign language education for the students and she hopes learning Chinese can help them open up their world.