Barbados is set to break ground for the highly specialised Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, (UWI), this Friday, July 11.

Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, will deliver remarks at the ground-breaking ceremony, which will also be addressed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and Chinese Ambassador Wang Ke.

This follows a series of discussions, which China, Barbados and the UWI have had since 2009, and as recent as March 2014, when Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, met with representatives of China University of Political Science and Law, partners in the establishment of the institute here on the island.

At the time, Minister Jones, speaking at his office on Constitution Road, St. Michael, welcomed the delegation led by Chinese Ambassador Wang Ke and thanked China for its continued interest in the development of bilateral links in the field of education.

He said then: ???We, in Barbados, try to pay a lot of attention to education, for it is one of the leading social indicators for the country.???

Expressing the view that it was the same for China, whose students are ???truly phenomenal???, he stressed that a Confucius Institute would allow ???for an opportunity to look at the mutual cultures and philosophies and examine what it is that we both do to advance humanity???.

This year marks China???s 10th anniversary of establishing some 400 Confucius Institutes worldwide. Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions aligned with the Government of the People???s Republic of China that aim to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges.

The Institute at the UWI is therefore expected to strengthen educational cooperation and increase mutual understanding among the peoples of both nations.

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