BEIJING: CHINA has given its commitment to provide teachers and experts in Mandarin and Mathematics for national schools in Malaysia.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said with the help from China, Malaysia could expedite its plan to encourage more students to master a third language and Mathematics starting next year.
“We need about 30,000 Mandarin teachers as we need three of them in each of our 10,000 national schools.
“This matter was raised at the Umno general assembly recently,” he said here last night.
At present, he said, Mandarin was being offered as a subject in 600 national schools nationwide.
Muhyiddin, who yesterday paid a courtesy call on Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli at the Great Hall of the People before attending a dinner hosted by the latter, also held a bilateral meeting with China’s Education Minister Yuan Guiren.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said China had advanced teaching techniques for Mathematics and had already sent its experts to teach students in the United Kingdom.
At the same time, he said, Malaysia would help China in expanding the learning and teaching of Bahasa Melayu.
On economic cooperation, China had agreed to increase bilateral trade with Malaysia to US$160 billion (RM528 billion) in 2017. China will also increase its investments in Malaysia, especially through its state-owned enterprises.
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.
Muhyiddin said he had also assured Zhang that Malaysia would give priority to the development of joint industrial areas, such as the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park in Pahang.
“The Chinese leaders had also given their commitment to support Malaysia as the new chairman for Asean next year, apart from strengthening cooperation in various fields, including defence and security.”
He said China’s leadership had expressed their interest to supply coaches and locomotives for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail project.
Muhyiddin, who is in China for a six-day visit, said Malaysia would invite China to bid for the contract when the tender was opened.
Apart from Beijing, he will visit Shanghai and Chongqin.