53,000 Chinese student volunteers in Beijing Olympics

August 15th, 2008 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 15 (Xinhua) More than 53,000 Chinese student volunteers are engaged in the Beijing Olympic Games, while around 400 million Chinese have been taught about the Games to promote awareness, an official said Friday. The programme would help the young Chinese to learn and practise the spirit of Olympics, Zhang Xinsheng, vice minister of education, said at a media briefing here.

He said some 53,000 student volunteers are serving the Olympic Games from Aug 8-24, while around 21,000 students would volunteer the Paralympics scheduled in September.

China has become a new destination for overseas students, Zhang said, adding that, 1.23 million foreign students have been enrolled in various disciplines of language, culture, engineering, social and medical sciences.

He said China has opened over 260 Confucius Institutes in about 75 countries to offer Mandarin classes.

The number of people studying Mandarin outside China has reached 30 million in the past 30 years. Some of these institutes are even helping in the ongoing Olympics.

Zhang said the Confucius Institute in New Zealand has been assigned by the country’s national Olympic committee to provide language and culture training for its athletes and coaches participating in the Beijing Games.

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