NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 02, 2023)- A Mandarin student in Nevis was declared winner of the 2023 Taiwan International Cooporation and Development Fund (ICDF) Mandarin-Speaking Competition.
An announcement by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in St. Kitts and Nevis informed that on September 25, Ms. Jada John outshined competitors from nine other nations and her lively expressions and gestures during her presentation left everyone spellbound.
The statement said “It is heartwarming to see how Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis are forging stronger bonds through different events. This cultural exchange takes the two countries’ friendship to new heights.”
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mr. Kevin Barrett recently congratulated Premier of Nevis the Honorable Mark Brantley for being instrumental in the introduction of Mandarin Chinese in schools in Nevis in 2020.
Mr. Barrett noted that Premier Brantley, then Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Federal government, had brought the idea to the Ministry of Education.
“This year, twenty-seven persons on Nevis passed the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language. We would have had that ceremony on August 31. Last April, some of these same students did what we call the pilot test. I believe the results of that boosted their confidence and led them to make that decision of taking the real test.
“And had it not been for that conversation Mr. Premier and your foresight, we perhaps would not have been celebrating this achievement today,” Mr. Barrett said during a ceremony to welcome ROC Taiwan’s Foreign Minister His Excellency Dr. Joseph Wu to Nevis on September 19.
Premier Brantley was impressed with the ability of the students on Nevis to speak Mandarin and even sing Mandarin songs. He said learning a second language, especially one spoken by more than one billion persons worldwide, augurs well for their future studies, careers, and overall personal development.
“I believe that communication is critical if we are to know each other. The beautiful thing about the introduction of Mandarin in our schools is that these youngsters now know about Taiwan, the Taiwanese culture and music, and I believe this is very important as we build out our people to people ties.”
In addition to lessons at the secondary schools, Mandarin Chinese classes are now being offered to the Nevisian public by Ms. Chen Chi, a professional Mandarin instructor from ROC Taiwan.