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Saudi Arabia has unveiled incentives for students who distinguish themselves in learning the Chinese language. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Education authorities in Saudi Arabia have unveiled a package of incentives for students who will distinguish themselves in learning the Chinese language introduced into the secondary schools in the kingdom.

As part of these incentives, students’ attendance of the Chinese language classes will be calculated as engagement in voluntary work, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported.

The student who successfully completes the course will get a 10-hour voluntary work added up to his/her cooperative education.

Moreover, the five best learners will be honoured by their respective education department, with the final number of brilliant students to reach 16 boys and 16 girls, who will be feted by the Education Ministry. Those students will also be given access to knowledge-orientated programmes and trips as a reward.

The ministry has authorised local education authorities to offer other incentives in line with the law, according to the report.

The ministry has underscored the implementation of a programme to teach the Chinese language to the second-year students in the secondary schools during the first semester of the current academic year that started earlier this week.

According to the plan, two proficiency classes are allotted per week with engagement of facilitators in encouraging group thinking and self-learning.

Saudi Arabia has said it plans to expand teaching the Chinese language after Chinese President Xi Jinping made an official visit last December to the kingdom where he met King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed.

Xi said in Riyadh that his country would offer thousands of opportunities to teach the Chinese language in the Gulf countries.

In January, Saudi Arabia’s advisory Shoura Council approved a draft accord with Beijing to teach the Chinese language in the kingdom.

Last March, the first batch of students majoring in the Chinese language in Saudi Arabia graduated. The students graduated at the University of Jeddah’s Faculty of Languages and Translation.

In 2020, Saudi education authorities started teaching the Chinese language in eight high schools as part of efforts to boost links between the two countries.

Earlier that year, the Saudi Crown Prince visited China where it was agreed to work out a plan for introducing the Chinese language into curricula of schools and universities in the kingdom.