SCHOOLS in Scotland and China have teamed up to teach Mandarin to pupils online thanks to a city university.

Language lessons are usually given in a classroom setting by Chinese exchange students, but due to being unable to travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are being streamed from the students’ own universities.

The exchange programme is facilitated by the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), in the University of Strathclyde-based SCILT- Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, in partnership with online learning platform e-Sgóil.

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Sessions are delivered by Scottish teachers where children are also given the opportunity to explore Chinese culture as all primary schools participating in the project have been provided with kits full of artifacts including books, clothes, tea and calligraphy sets. The initiative is running in 11 local authority areas including Glasgow.

SCILT Director Fhiona Mackay said: "COVID-19 has narrowed our world.  This has meant that, although exchange teachers have been unable to join us in Scotland this year, we are still able to provide high-quality teaching directly from China.

"These programmes are a great way of internationalising the curriculum for our pupils and of getting extra international experience for the students.

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"It keeps exchange teachers working alongside Scottish teachers, enriches the curriculum and ensures young people don't miss out.

We have been able to reach schools who don't have a GTCS teacher so they can now offer national qualifications in Mandarin. 

"Our GTCS registered teacher is also able to offer a primary L3 programme to schools outwith the hub network The VET teachers in China are undertaking the Broad General Education teaching in our hubs that would normally have been done by an exchange teacher from China.

"We hope to be able to bring some of the students to Scotland next year as Chinese exchange teachers."