• August 25, 2023

Ambassador Wang Bid Farewell to 155 Sierra Leoneans

Ambassador Wang Bid Farewell to 155 Sierra Leoneans
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The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sierra Leone, H.E. Wang Qing has on Thursday 24th August 2023 bid farewell to one hundred and fifty- five (155) Sierra Leonean applicants having been successfully admitted by Chinese universities and colleges with full scholarships.

According to Ambassador Wang Qing, twenty-eight of the Sierra Leoneans students secured Chinese Government Scholarship (CGS) while the remaining one hundred and twenty-seven students won the degree programme scholarship of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Ambassador Qing said that the total number ranks the second most in African for which he disclosed has demonstrated the high quality of Sierra Leone students as well as the achievements of the country’s Free Quality Education.

‘Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, both China and Sierra Leone attached great importance to education’ Ambassador Qing reaffirmed.

There is an old saying in China that goes like this; ‘Its takes ten years to nurture a tree, but a hundred years to train a man’. Simplifying its meaning, Ambassador Qing said it means that investment in education is a long term business and good education programme takes a long time to develop but it will bring wide reaching and profound benefits forever.

In the past decades, Ambassador Qing continued, China consistently made education one of the foundational and strategic pillars for building a modern socialist country in all respects where China fully implemented the strategy for invigorating China through science and education and built the world’s largest education system.

Chinese government spending on education reached the official target of 4% of the Gross Domestic Product in 2012 for the first time and has remained above that figure since, while spending in 2022 reached about 900 billion United State Dollars, the Chinese diplomat said.

At the same time, Ambassador Qing, per capital expenditure of Chinese households on education also increased substantially which he pointed reflects the great importance Chinese parents attached to the education of their children.

After years of hard work, education has achieved great development and played key role in enhancing national competitiveness, made an irreplaceable and important contribution to China’s modernization, the Ambassador revealed.

Today, more and more Chinese universities enter global rankings for the best universities in the world, H.E .Qing bragged.

In order to make education better, the Ambassador called all and sundry to support the Chinese Path to Modernization, pointing out that the Chinese government has launched China’s Education Modernization 2035 plan to set the direction for the development of the education sector from ‘capacity to quality.’

He said he is deeply impressed by the conscientiousness and investment by Sierra Leone Government on education, President Julius Maada Bio made the Free Quality Education the flagship programme of the New Direction Agenda, he said.

During the last five years , Sierra Leone spent 22% of government budget on education, paying school and exam fees, learning materials, school meals, buses, passed the Basic and Senior Secondary Education Act 2023, expanded the enrolment rate significantly to 37% jump, increased the pass rate in public exams to over 77%, my predecessor told me.

China-Sierra Leone friendly cooperation has resulted in fruitful achievement in all fields since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two 52 years ago, especially on education and human capacity building, the Ambassador said.

He furthered that over the past two decades, the Chinese government has provided scholarships to over 1200 Sierra Leonean students and 5100 Sierra Leonean friends from all walks of life to China for short term training courses or exchanges.

“We are happy to see that there are still over 200 students continue their studies on campus in China in the last three years, although the physical study in China was once interrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic”, he said.

In the first half of this year, over 350 Sierra Leoneans have already visited China for training programmes and seminars, the international diplomat noted.

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, we Chinese have another old saying, ‘When the young rises, the country rises, when the young is strong, then the country is strong’.

Giving meaning to the Chinese saying, Ambassador Qing explained that young people are the future of a country, and also the future of our bilateral friendship, therefore he noted the scholarship recipients present today are heading for China and will start on a new journey.

Admonishing the recipients, Ambassador Qing  said once they step on China’s soil, they are not only a students but also good will ambassadors to carry on the China-Sierra Leone traditional friendship and cultural ambassadors to contribute to Sierra Leone’s social and economic development with knowledge and skill to be learned in china, disclosing that their responsibilities are much more heavier than before, expressing confidence that the students recipients are strong enough to meet the new challenges.

The diplomat expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Ministries of Technical and Higher Education, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Basic and Senior Secondary Education for their support to the embassy.

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