The Ministry of National Education has decided to introduce Chinese language courses at imam-hatip schools, vocational high schools that follow a religion-focused curriculum.
Chinese language will be included in prep classes for Anadolu imam-hatip schools, which provides a higher-level education for the students of theology. It is the sixth language to be introduced at imam-hatip schools, after Arabic, English, Spanish, Russian and German.
A high school in Istanbul's Küçükçekmece district will be the first to offer Chinese language classes. The quota of thirty students for an elective Chinese course is already full, school officials said.
Students will have 24 hours of Chinese lessons every week, starting with the new school year in September. Their language skills will be tested by a proficiency exam organized by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban). The ministry says the students would have access to Chinese scholarships if they perform well in the exam.
The ministry wants prep students to be fluent in Chinese and with a vocabulary of at least 900 words.
Apart from standard classes, schools will organize Chinese culture days and host delegations from China, as well as career days organized by Chinese companies in Turkey.
A Chinese Culture department will also be set up at the schools for students to learn about Chinese calligraphy, tea culture, music and the game of Go, etc.