Saturday, 28 January 2012

Some reflections on education for foreigners in China

In  China  if  you  meet  a  foreign  student  pursuing  a  programme  taught  in  Chinese  and ask them about  their studies, the likely response you  will get is one that tells  you theirs is a sad  story  worth listening to. You  will be told of the frustration and  the stress that the students   suffer  due to their failure to understand lectures, not because of the difficulty of the concepts presented – well they could be – but because the  students’  competence  in  Chinese  language  is  too  basic  for  university  studies. Why is this so? 

The tool with which I hit a taxi driver

I am a black African man, with a black skin, studying in China. I have been in this beautiful country since 2009. Well, being black in China causes a mixture of attitudes and feelings among Chinese. You see some staring at you with awe, not believing that what their eyes are seeing is a black person.

You see others, especially girls, with seemingly exaggerated excitement on their faces. Sometimes such girls, most of them pretty, will ask if they could take a photo with you. It is a request I grant most times, after which they giggle away, celebrating the just ended ‘life-time’ opportunity of seeing a black person in flesh. And as I wrote this article in MacDonald’s over a chicken burger and a coke, some three teen-age girls passing by beckoned one another’s attention to look at me, murmured things I couldn’t pick and chuckled away like some kindergarten kids.