Summer Camp helps Namibian students understand China better
It all seemed like a dream for Hanna Hipangelwa, a Namibian student, when she flew to Beijing for an exciting summer camp.
In China, she spent 15 days at the China University of Geosciences, Beijing (CUGB), which was the hosting university that provided summer campers from Namibia with various events in terms of language learning and culture exploration.
Hanna, a grade 11 from Emmanuel Shafidi, a secondary school situated in the heart of Katutura, a township of capital Windhoek, had never been outside the borders of the country, let alone the continent.
"I'm still dreaming right now. I had never been on a plane before, let alone go to a country where I got exposed to in-depth Chinese language and culture, with the people, who grew up and still live there," she said in an interview with Xinhua.
Hanna was one of the many students from Namibia who had excelled at the Confucius Institute at her secondary school.
Through her perseverance and interest in Chinese culture and language, she managed to qualify for the Confucius Institute Summer Camp for Secondary Students.
Ever since the first setting up of Chinese Teaching Site in one secondary school, there are now five Chinese Teaching Sites in five secondary schools now and registered learners are more than 120.
"I can safely say that I polished on my mandarin and can testify that China has the most understanding people and best food ever," she said.
Like Hanna, another Student, from Emmanuel Shifidi Secondary School, could not wait to reveal how the summer camp was for him.
"Since the camp, I have been able to speak and express my self more in mandarin since we were offered 30 hours of language learning which specified in several topics matching with the theme of culture exploration. I learnt more language phrases and improved my language a notch," he said.
In other interviews with students from a different school, A. Shipena Secondary also located in Katutura, Lucia Hikarare, a grade 12 learner said, "What I learned during the two weeks was amazing."
"I learned how to do Chinese paint, which is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world, painting in the traditional style," she said.
The students also managed to do calligraphy, the visual art related to writing, which they executed with a broad tip instrument.
Unlike the other students, two brothers, Saad Ndatipo and Simson Ndatipo, managed to capture China in it's true form as a majestic country in terms of the environment and sceneries.
"The place was so green and Beijing is a very clean place. We thought we would come across a crowded city, but to our surprise it was a different experience all together," they said.
"China should not be underestimated as it is very advanced, and hope one day I will be able to further my education in this country. The museums are great and we learned more tones in mandarin and now we can safely speak more fluently," Saad said.
Furthermore, Simson said, when he had enrolled for the Chinese classes in Namibia, he wanted to learn more about the Chinese Culture and language and the summer camp did more than that. Now he can proudly say he is surely mastering the culture and language.
Campers also visited Hanban, the Headquarters of Confucius Institute, where they were introduced Chinese drama and development of Chinese characters with the aid of modern technology. The most exciting events for all the students was visiting of the Great Wall, Tian Anmen Square, Forbidden City, Bird Nest Stadium and Water Cube Stadium.
Most of the student who went on the summer camp said they aspire to do different courses at the Universities in China and hope after they finish with their secondary education, they would like to go to their many institutions to learn so that they can use what they would have learned to make Namibia better.
Currently in Namibia, the Chinese Language is not under curriculum of local secondary school as an examined subject, but the number of learners is increasing rapidly and more schools indicate their willingness of setting up Chinese Teaching Sites.