Antigua and Barbuda launches first Confucius Institute in Eastern Caribbean

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By Carl Joseph

The launch of the Confucius Institute in Antigua and Barbuda, on Friday, was officially the first such institution to be opened in the Eastern Caribbean.

The landmark event took place at the Antigua and Barbuda Institute for Continuing Education (ABICE) where the Confucius Institute will actively spearhead the teaching of the Chinese language, while striving to provide vocational education training for youth based on actual local needs.

“The institute will play a positive role in expanding educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples,” Deputy Director of Education Lynn Weste-Payne said during the launch.

During his remarks, Minister of Education Michael Browne pointed out that “it is not enough that Math and English be compulsory subjects; Math and English being compulsory subjects was 20 years ago.

“I think that in order for our students to be adequately prepared, a foreign language must be included and regarded … not only as an add-on, but as a must in order to survive in this global economy.”

The opening marked the completion of a journey, which began in October, 2018 when Minister Browne headed a delegation which visited the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China.

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