Hawassa University holds discussion with the Director of Confucius Institute at Ethiopian Technical university.
Dr. Fisiha Getachew, Vice President for Academic Affairs of Hawassa University, spoke on behalf of HU during a discussion held with Mr. Jiang Jiang who is the Director of Confucius Institute at Ethiopian Technical university. The director has visited Hawassa University to evaluate the present conditions of the Confucius Classroom at Hawassa University which is training students in Chinese Language at BA degree level, and determine what can be done to improve the program for the future. Dr. Fisiha has indicated the high level of commitment on the part of HU to strengthen the Confucius classroom and the bilateral relationship and cooperation between the Ethiopian and Chinese governments and people.
During the discussion, Mr. Asmero Kassa, who is working as head of the University's Chinese Language education program presented the progress of the Chinese language training at HU since the launch in 2011. In his presentation, Mr. Asmero pointed out the fact that the program was promoted to a Bachler of Arts Degree in 2014 with high level of job opportunity for graduates. His graduate tracer study indicated that most of the alumni of Chinese Language have secured employment resulting in higher demands to enroll in the regular and weekend programs under the College of Social Science and Humanities. However, he indicated that factors such as poor English language competency of most students, problems in department choice, lack of local staff trained in Chinese language, challenges to participate in AC meetings and language/communication barriers have been challenges hindering the progress of the program in HU. Mr. Jiang Jiang also said that Hawassa University is playing an important role in promoting Chinese language and culture in Ethiopia by strengthening the Confucius class. He also appreciated the successful training and mastering of Chinese language for non-native speakers taking the example of Mr. Asmero, who is the first MA graduate of Chinese Language with highest proficiency level from Ethiopia, as a remarkable achievement. He added that it is possible to use Chinese instructors who can deliver courses online, and the institute is committed to help in improving the smart classrooms at HU. This, in other words, would mean that the program will be able to increase the number of students who would enroll in the BA, MA, and weekend programs in the future. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Dagne Shibru who is Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities said that the Chinese Language Department is one of the nine departments under his college showing tremendous progress in terms of becoming students’ preference to join. He also admitted the challenges mentioned by Mr. Asmero and suggested a better adjustment of online classes until the problems posed by Covid 19 are over. He added that the diminished number of Chinese instructors for the face-to-face course delivery following the incidence of the pandemic should not stop the promising progress of the program. After a detailed discussion of ways to minimize the challenges, all parties agreed on strengthening the collaboration between the university and the institute so as to promote the Chinese language and culture in Ethiopia which is also a plus to the long standing historical and economic ties between the two sister countries.