Indonesia-China's cooperation in education very impressive

19:30, September 29, 2009      

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Cooperation between Indonesia and China in the field of education and culture has been very impressive with an aim to enhance relationship between the two countries, a senior government official told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Monday.

Fasli Jalal, the Education Ministry's director general for high education said that the cooperation was started since 2000 when both countries held cooperation in non formal education for Chinese language training.

"We sent our lecturers to China, sponsored by the Chinese government. We also conducted a test in cities to find candidates who wanted to participate in the program," Fasli said.

According to him, the program was attracted many participants.

"It grows very fast and now we have thousands of students every year. That's not only in big cities like Jakarta and others in Java Island but also in Sumatra and Sulawesi islands as well as the rest of the country," he said.

Following the success, both countries extended cooperation in formal school, started by sending Indonesian teachers to China for learning its language and culture.

He also said that Indonesia and China have developed partnership by inviting Chinese volunteer teachers to spend one year in Indonesian schools.

"At the beginning, it grew from 20 to 40. Now, roughly 100 Chinese volunteer teachers are working in hundreds of Indonesian schools all over the country," he said.

This program also gained success, marked by intention of some Chinese teachers to extend their stay one more year.

"We also get more and more requests from all over Indonesia to have Chinese volunteer teachers," he said.

"And the next step is," Fasli said, "both countries made a special program for Chinese teacher training in university level at various colleges in Indonesia."

"We started it in Jakarta, Surabaya, and now it's growing to more regions," he said.

He also said on top of that, both countries have cross culture exchange with Indonesia planned to develop Indonesian version of Confucius centers in some locations.

"By gluing these together, I think these two big nations have a potential fruitful cooperation that could influence the region to be more prosperous, peaceful and stable," he said.

Fasli added that since the era of Indonesian reforms, both countries are now revitalizing cooperation, regardless China's economic development.

He said that the fast-growing of the Chinese economy has a big influence to enhance the cooperation, not to mention the intention, willingness and enthusiasm of Indonesians to learn Chinese language.

"It brings a significant result because we know that Chinese economic development is so fast, influencing our export and import as well as cooperation between our companies. I think this can be a strong foundation for fruitful cooperation between these two nations," he said.

He added that Indonesians not only learn Chinese language but also learn Chinese culture.

Fasli said that right now both countries are starting to exchange lecturers and university students.

"We sent a quit large number of our university lecturers to get master and Phd degree in Chinese universities and we invite Chinese lecturer to teach Chinese here as native speakers. They could also get different kind of master degrees in Indonesian universities," he said.

Fasli added that now at least more than 1,000 Indonesians are studying in Chinese universities and more than dozens Indonesian lectures are doing the same thing.

"This number increased year-by-year. That's why we like to invite Chinese universities to know our system," he said.

At the end of the conversation, Fasli congratulated China for its 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

"From deep of my heart, I would like to congratulate and wish very happy anniversary to China, and hopefully cooperation between us could be improved while people-to-people diplomacy will be the foundation of long lasting cooperation," he said.

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