Earlier this year, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced the introduction of Mandarin Chinese into South African schools. According to the DBE, Mandarin will be introduced into schools from next year, 2016, and will be an elective second language.
The introduction of Mandarin is a direct result of the Basic Implementation Plan (BIP), signed in March 2014, by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the DBE. It is important to note that the BIP is not limited to the teaching of Mandarin and will also include other subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Technology.
From an educational standpoint and considering that the World Economic Forum gave the overall South African Education system a ranking of 139 out of 142 countries , this collaboration could not have come at a better time. The BIP will give us the tools for improving the basic quality of South African education.
More importantly for our business customers, the introduction of Mandarin is one of the largest opportunities for growth and expansion in the near future. With both the Chinese and the South African governments taking steps towards improving our trade relations, it bodes well for future potential market growth of SA companies. An example of this is the South African invitation for Chinese investors in the 10 specially established economic zones.