Superintendents’ Mission to China
Introduction to Mission
The Chinese Education Authority HANBAN has kindly offered to host and largely resource a BC superintendents’ mission to China this coming year. After consultations, BCCIE on behalf of interested superintendents committed to a China Mission from March 22nd – 31st. The Ministry of Education is in support of greater K-12 engagement with China and HANBAN is keen to further support the building of relationships with BC districts as well as with BC’s Ministry of Education in order to encourage the growth of Mandarin Language instruction in BC, the creation of Confucius Classrooms across the province as well as a new Confucius Institute. Fundamental to these outcomes is the creation of bilateral school-to-school and district-to-district partnerships that will be strongly encouraged on the mission and that will lead to a greater level of shared learning and cooperation across the education enterprise.
Deliverables of Mission
In each city superintendents will engage in school site visits as well as have meetings with provincial ministry officials and school officials (as well as national ministry colleagues in Beijing) to engage in tours, round tables as well as speed dating with potential partner schools and districts.
It is hoped that in each city you will be able to identify and meet with compatible potential partners for the types of partnerships you desire. It is also hoped that this mission might alert you to the great potential for deeper engagement in China, and to encourage you to consider the introduction or broadening of Mandarin language instruction in your district.
More about Hanban
Hanban is the Chinese Education Ministry arm responsible for the proliferation and support of Mandarin language instruction internationally; other international comparators in terms of mandate might include Alliance Française or the British Council. It is Hanban that supports the creation and administration of Confucius Institutes around the world; in BC we have a Confucius Institute at BCIT, which supports the creation and running of Confucius Classrooms for the teaching of Mandarin language as well as engages in the creation of online Mandarin Language curriculum development.
Until recently we also had one Confucius Classroom in BC, in the Coquitlam school district, but this entity has recently been upgraded to the status of a special Confucius Institute in Coqtuilam.
It is the desire of Hanban that this upcoming mission might encourage other BC districts to host Confucius Classrooms, and that the province might be encouraged to host a Confucius Institute through which applications and proposals would be submitted. By way of comparison, Alberta is home to over 20 Confucius Classrooms and it is felt that there is great opportunity for growth and expansion in BC.