Students shine at opening of Confucius Classroom at Whitebridge High School

Students at Whitebridge High School are celebrating the opening of the Hunter region’s first ‘Confucius Classroom’, opened in conjunction with the University of Newcastle Confucius Institute.

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Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison, joined the students and a delegation from the Confucius Institute at the University of Newcastle in welcoming three special guests from the Chinese Consulate in Sydney - H.E.Li Huaxin - the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China (Sydney), Consul Wang Xiaojia - Head of the Education Office, Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China, and Consul Hong Feng - Education Office, Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China

 

“I have been very impressed by the students I met today. To see students having conversations in mandarin with staff from the consulate just demonstrates quality teaching that is occurring in our public schools, “ Ms Harrison said.

 

Jodie Harrison observed that Australian relationships with Asia are more important than ever and encouraging increased cultural exchange with young Australians will strengthen these relationships and offer students great learning opportunities.

 

“This connection for local students with the Confucius Institute will further enhance the ability for senior students to learn Mandarin. Everyone benefits from a stronger understanding of other cultures.”

 

Principal of Whitebridge High School, Ian Wilson, said the facility is the result of a partnership with the University of Newcastle Confucius Institute and will give students the opportunity to learn Mandarin from native speakers and connect directly to Chinese students to experience modern China first hand.

 

Ian Wilson said the Confucius Classroom at Whitebridge High School will give students a contemporary experience of China they could only better by being there, “It will give them a strong sense of China’s place in the world and the career opportunities available to Australians able to engage with China, especially if they speak the language.”

 

“We are very proud to have made our connection with the Institute, which will support the school with Mandarin language tuition for senior students” Mr Wilson said.