Compulsory Mandarin course from kindergarten to high school
Chris Minns, the Kogarah senator, proposed in his speech that all school students in NSW should learn Mandarin – a proposal praised by Premier Mike Baird.
Chris Minns, who holds a Masters in Public Policy from Princeton University, pointed out that many Australian enterprises were panicking when they met the great opportunity of the “Asian Century”even though it made getting direct financing more difficult.
He said the next generation needed to be better equipped with Asian language skills, especially Chinese, and get a better understanding of Asian customs and traditions. "I proposed a bold ideal to the council that all NSW children from kindergarten to 12th grade are required to learn Mandarin. That would pay off in the near future "
Open-minded toward direct investment from China
Minns’ speech was praised by Premier Mike Baird. Premier said, “I congratulate him for demonstrating his leadership by saying that we welcome foreign direct investment. I quite agreed with his point of making Mandarin a compulsory course in NSW schools.”
Baird also thought that Minns’ views were very open-minded. In terms of the attitude toward Chinese investors, Minns was rather different from other associates in the Labor Party.
Australian enterprises should seize the opportunity of the “Asian Century”
Chris Minns showed that foreign direct investment is supported in NSW. He said residents in Kogarah are from all over the world, with 61% speaking a language other than English. In NSW, the district has the highest percentage of Chinese Australians within the country.
Minns indicated that the main reason why Australian companies failed to grasp the importance of the“Asian Century” was primarily the vague understanding of Asian customs and languages. “Last year, among the 70,000 students who graduated from Higher School, only 0.5% (pitifully small percentage) learned Mandarin.”
Minns said the federal government has already formulated The Asian Century White Paper, but it was abandoned in NSW. If the course standard in NSW can’t make Mandarin compulsory, then according to the White Paper, Australian children should learn at least one of four Asian languages: Mandarin, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese.