As part of several activities leading to the 100th commencement convocation exercise at the University of Liberia, the Confucius Institute has celebrated its 10th anniversary in Liberia with several students exhibiting their talents in Chinese language and culture.
Confucius Institute is a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, whose stated aim is to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges. It was established in Liberia in 2008 at the University of Liberia.
UL president Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks told the audience that the partnership between the two institutions has afforded Liberian students the opportunity to study the Chinese language and explored their beautiful culture at the state-run university over the last decade.
Dr. Weeks extolled the People’s Republic of China for their contribution which intends to uplift the university. She highlighted the construction of the UL Fendell Campus by the Chinese government as key in improving learning condition at the nation’s first institution of higher learning.
According to her, the partnership between the Confucius Institute and UL is cardinal to the growth and development of the students. She recalled that the Confucius Institute has over the years provided great opportunities for many UL students, something which she said has given them the opportunity to acquire foreign study in China and, as a result, they returned to help to the university.
“UL recognizes the hard work of the Confucius Institute as a great importance to the country,” she said. Madam Weeks, however, assured the Confucius Institute’s faculty of her administration’s willingness to expand a learning module that which was earlier on started by the Confucius Institute at the University.
“The Chinese culture is unique and we hope in time to come, that the Confucius Institute will expand in terms of learning competition at this university,” Dr. Weeks told her audience.
The Chinese Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Fu Jijun, said culture and education around the world plays a significant role in maintaining world peace. He therefore cautioned countries to collectively work together in preserving global peace.
Ambassador Fu noted that Instability and uncertainties are mounting and the global challenges faced by the globe are becoming even more daunting, which according to him calls for a joint response from countries around the world to meet these common challenges and create a brighter future for all.
He said education and culture play a significant role for a better world, something which he said is as important as the role played by the economy, science and technology. The Chinese diplomat also used the occasion to call on Liberians to do away with things that will jeopardize the hard-earned peace the country has enjoyed for the last decades.
According to him, dialogue is the best way forward for maintaining post-war peace; “I appeal to the government of Liberia, political parties, NGOs and all Liberian people to cherish the hard-earned fragile peace, to respect and trust each other, to make concerted efforts for safeguarding peace.”
He urged Liberians to solve differences through dialogue and constructive engagement and to wisely use their strength and money for creating a secure society in which people can live in freedom without fear of violence.