On 17th November, the 2016 Annual Chinese Prizegiving of South Island New Zealand was held at St Margaret's College, Christchurch. More than 600 local people, including principals, teachers, prize winners and their families attended the ceremony.
Distinguished guests present included Jimmy Chen, Christchurch City Councillor, Prof Jonathan Le Cocq, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Arts at the University of Canterbury, Zhai Jianjun, Chinese Education Consul, Dr FUJiwei, National Chinese Language Adviser, and Delegation of Huazhong University of Science and Technology led by Professor XU Mingwu.
The evening started with a lively Chinese folk dance performed by students from Merrin School and a welcome speech given by Gillian Simpson, the Principal of St Margaret’s College. Then the Councillor Jimmy Chen, Education Consul Zhai Jianjun and Dr Fujiwei also spoke to the audience.
In Jimmy Chen’s speech, he gave a warm welcome to the HUST delegation. After that he highly commended the great achievement of CIUC in 2016 and congratulated all students who were awarded the prizes and encouraged them to continue learning Chinese. He also point out that the rapid development of Chinese teaching in New Zealand not only boost the bilateral relationships between the two countries, but also enhance the exchanges and cooperation in the area of education, culture, economy, science and technology.
On behalf of the Consul General Jin Zhijian, the Educational Consul Zhai Jianjun stated in his speech that language learning is a bridge for culture exchanges. So far, around 150 schools in the South Island have started mandarin classes. The Chinese learners are booming towards to over 11,000.
Over 150 students from 56 schools in Christchurch were awarded prizes for outstanding achievement in their respective school’s Chinese programmes. 109 out of 1031 contestants won prizes for New Zealand National Chinese Calligraphy Competition. Last but not least, this year, 21 students were presented with prizes for high achievement in the YCT and HSK Examinations. In addition, the Confucius Classroom at Christchurch Boys’ High School won the 2016 Confucius Classroom of the Year due to their successful Chinese programme.
During the Prizegiving, Tai Chi and Guzheng (a troditional Chinese instrument) Performance given by CIUC teachers was also very well received.
The atmosphere of the Prizegiving ceremony was warm and encouraging. After the event, the awarded students took photos with guests to retain the memory of this wonderful experience. The prize winners expressed that they are all big fans of learning Chinese and winning the awards this year was a big encouragement for their future learning.