GILGIT: The first ever Chinese language centre established in Gilgit by the Chinese government in collaboration with the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) education department will begin enrolling students from January.
Set up inside the Gilgit High School building, the initiative of the G-B Chinese Overseas Association is meant to broaden the human resource base between the two countries.
An official of the association, Abdul Rahman said: “In our meeting with [representatives of] the G-B education department, it was decided enrolment will begin from January. Those interested in learning Chinese will be offered admission in the centre.”
Stressing a number of people would benefit from the facility, Rahman added, “When someone is visiting China for any reason, language is the biggest barrier to effective communication.”
The official insisted the skill of knowing Chinese would be of immense importance in the future, referring to the proposed railway track project meant to increase the volume of trade between the two countries.
He added a number of Pakistanis from G-B have sought admissions in Chinese universities for higher education and the centre could benefit them too along with local businessmen involved in trade with China. This the first project of its kind in G-B. A similar programme was announced by Karakoram International University in 2011, but it never materialised.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2013.