Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principle of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau,
Co-directors of the Confucius Institute of U.W.I. Cave Hill,
Mr. Francois Jackman and Dr. Song Qingbao,
Chinese Teachers, Volunteers and Students from the Confucius Institute at U.W.I. Cave Hill,
University faculty members and students,
Friends from the Media,
It gives me great pleasure to attend, for the third time, the graduation ceremony for Confucius Institute students at U.W.I. Cave Hill. 153 students are about to complete this semester’s Chinese Language Classes (Level 1 to Level 3) and receive the certificates ratifying their excellent study. My heartfelt congratulations to you all and wish you could make even more progress in future Chinese language and other academic studies.
I have attended many events held by the Confucius Institute and witnessed many of its fruitful achievements and breakthroughs in promoting Chinese language and culture since it was established in April 2015. Thanks to the efforts made by the Confucius Institute, over 1,800 persons from both U.W.I. campus and local agencies including BDF, Central Bank and the Diplomatic Corps have benefited from Chinese language teaching and training. “Chinese Bridge” Competition have been successfully held for two successive years in Barbados. 14 U.W.I. Cave Hill students visited China on a Summer Camp this year and all of them passed Chinese Language Proficiency Test HSK Level-1. Four local schools have set up Chinese Classes while many others show great interest. Most importantly, the first Chinese Proficiency Test centre in the East Caribbean was set up here recently, which shows how well the Confucius Institute at U.W.I. Cave Hill has been recognized by its Headquarters in China.
Likewise, the Confucius Institute has gained local recognition by holding various Chinese language teaching and cultural activities, which is a cause not only to enhance people-to-people exchanges between our two countries but also to bring great benefits to local Barbadians. I trust that many of you have seen, on local media, the coverage of these activities and the beautiful Chinese teachers and volunteers. I am most happy to see that the Confucius Institute Building on campus is about to complete and will hold its inauguration ceremony in this coming February. We all look forward to that since it will fundamentally improve the teaching and working conditions of the Confucius Institute. Taking this opportunity, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Principle Professor Barriteau, all university faculty members and students for your great support, and to the co-directors, teachers and volunteers of the Confucius Institute for your hard work.
The Chinese Embassy in Barbados always puts great emphasis on educational cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, and gives its full support to the development of the Confucius Institute. We set up “Chinese Ambassador’s Award” recently to encourage the well-performed Chinese learners on Cave Hill Campus, and made presentations of learning and teaching equipments to the excellent Confucius Institute students and three local Chinese teaching schools when the Embassy hold its annual “Open Day” last month. We will continue to do so in the future.
Faculty members and students,
Some 2,500 years ago, Confucius, the eminent Chinese educator and philosopher started his teaching. Later on, his followers spread all over China, his philosophy was passed on from generation to generation and became the essence of prestigious Chinese culture. Today, more than 500 Confucius Institutes are thriving in some 130 countries, not only to provide a platform for Chinese language teaching and learning worldwide but also become a family for Chinese culture fans where we can make friends with each other and exchange our cultures and ideas. I hope that all the Chinese learners in Barbados could seize the opportunity and improve your Chinese study so as to make contributions to push forward China-Barbados relations and the friendship between our two peoples while broadening your horizons.
Each time when I am attending Confucius Institute event, I always have the same wish that one day, I could deliver a speech to the audience in Chinese. I firmly believe that as long as we continuously keep working together and the Confucius Institute keeps its good momentum on this beautiful island, my wish will eventually come true!
I thank you very much.