Beijing to help KL in Mandarin and maths

BEIJING – Malaysia has received a boost in its plan to encourage students to master a third language and mathematics with China’s commitment to provide teachers and experts, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said.

He made the comments after a Monday meeting with Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli and Chinese Education Minister Yuan Guiren, the New Straits Times said yesterday.

“We need about 30,000 Mandarin teachers as we need three of them in each of our 10,000 national schools,” said Tan Sri Muhyiddin, adding that Mandarin is being offered in 600 national schools.

Mr Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said China had advanced teaching techniques for maths and had already sent its experts to teach students in Britain.

In return, Malaysia will help China to expand the learning and teaching of Bahasa Melayu.

Mr Muhyiddin is on a six-day visit to China, having arrived in Beijing on Sunday. Shanghai and Chongqing are also on his itinerary.

China also agreed to boost bilateral trade with Malaysia to US$160 billion (S$209 billion) in 2017, apart from increasing its investment, especially from its state-owned enterprises.

“Its leaders have given their commitment to support Malaysia as the new chairman for Asean, apart from strengthening cooperation in various fields including defence and security,” Mr Muhyiddin said.

China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner, with a total volume of US$110 billion last year. Foreign direct investment from China had increased from US$646 million in 2012 to US$922 million last year, said the New Straits Times.

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