Source:Forum on China-Africa Cooperation 2013-9-2
NAIROBI, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Wednesday acknowledged the role played by China in bridging the deficit of the country's student admissions to local public university.
Professor Colleta Suda, the principal secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, said China has continued to absorb Kenyan students to its universities, thereby contributing to bridging the gap of university admissibility among those who qualify for university education.
"Out of the 120,000 students who meet the minimum university entry requirements in Kenya, only about 35 percent are absorbed into local public universities. Where does the remaining 65 percent go?" the official asked.
"We appreciate the partnership with China for bridging this gap by awarding government scholarships to Kenyan students to further their educational dreams," she said during a farewell ceremony for 81 Kenyan students, who have been awarded Chinese government scholarships to study in the country's local universities.
Suda said currently there are over 300 students studying in various universities in China, adding that those who have completed their studies have returned home to contribute to Kenya's economic and social development.
"I want you to walk hand-in-hand with your Chinese friends. I have been to China in the past and the Chinese people are very friendly towards their African friends. However, be prepared for a culture shock especially concerning the Chinese work ethic," Suda advised the students.
"The Chinese are a hard-working people who work day and night. After your experience in China, you will be a different person. I stayed in China for three weeks and returned a different person."
She told the students to adjust fast, put the cultural shock behind them and carry themselves with dignity.
"When you get to China, do as the Chinese do. China is a multi- cultural and huge, complex entity and you have an opportunity to interact in an industrialized country where you will see how they handle challenges."
Cao Xiaolin, the counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi, said the recent visit by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to China has given a vigorous boost to the friendly relations between the two countries.
"As an outcome of the visit, China and Kenya have decided to establish a comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual trust and mutual benefits."
Cao said China attaches great importance to cooperation in education with Kenya and that China has always been committed to supporting Kenya in its education and personnel training.
"Since 1982, China has provided dozens of Government Scholarships to Kenyan students every year. We are glad to see that having completed their studies in China, these students have made contributions to Kenya's development."
"The students will study for doctoral, masters or bachelor's degrees in engineering, machinery, computer science and technology and others. We encourage and welcome many more Kenyan youth to study in China."
He expressed hope that with the experience in China, the students will become ambassadors of Kenya to China and dedicate themselves to the promotion of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Franklin Asira, the chairman of the Kenya-China Alumni Association, said China's sponsorship to Kenya has grown by leaps and bounds.
"I was in the second batch of students who were awarded scholarships to China. We were only three then, and now here we have over 80! This is Chinese generosity."
The head of China Desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Flora Karugu, described the overture as an invaluable contribution to Kenya's objectives.
"The scholarships are an evident outcome of the cooperation between the two counties. It is a rare opportunity to study in one of the ancient civilizations of mankind."
The students, who will depart for China on Sept. 5, expressed optimism during their stay in the Far East country.
"I am not sure how fast I will adjust, but I hope it will be quick especially after mastering the Chinese language," said 20 year-old Stephen Omindo who is has been admitted at Lanzhou University for a degree in civil engineering.