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Confucius Institute looks to local recruitment


08:41, July 11, 2013

While some students are learning traditional culture on their home soil, a lack of Chinese teachers abroad continues to be a problem. The shortage is a lingering issue for Confucius Institutes which have opened internationally.

Cui Batu is teaching Chinese here in Mongolia. Sent to the country due to his prior understanding and knowledge of Mongolian culture, he says that his experience at the Confucius Institute has been hard work.

Cui Batu said, "I’ve been here for three years. But my schedule is so full that I haven’t had a single night out to see Ulan Bator. I can only look through my window."

For the past three years, Cui’s everyday life in Mongolia has been nothing but commuting from school to his dorm. However, he and his friends always manage to use homesickness as fuel for work.

Ma Xiujie, Martial Arts Teacher, Confucius Institute, Ulan Bator, said, "The move you have just seen is inspired by the Chinese poem ’look down and see my homesickness’. This is really something I came up with when I was missing home. But this is the life that I’ve chosen."

A fixed international living subsidy is another issue for these teachers who have to deal with varying, and often inflated, prices in different countries. An apple that costs one or two yuan in China may cost 10 in Mongolia.

Xu Haiyan, volunteer of Confucius Institute, Ulan Bator, said, "Fruit and vegetables are much more expensive here than in China. Fruit is sold in number rather than kilo. So I eat a lot less here."

The Confucius Institute in Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University was co-founded with Peking University. The shortage of Chinese teachers is a difficult problem to solve.

Fu Zengyou, dean of Confucius Institute of Chulalongkorn University, said, "The workloads are heavy here. Teachers have to give lessons and host extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile they have to make time for their own research and papers."

Confucius Institutes are implementing initiatives to ramp up the scale of local recruitment. A training program involving 300 people has already started in Thailand, so hopefully in the future these issues can be resolved.

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