Students' message of love to Chinese teachers

Students at two schools in Samoa have sent messages of support to their Chinese language teachers, who are unable to return due to a travel ban brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Primary school students from Vaivase and Magiagi have sent messages of support and comfort to the Confucius Institute Director, Dr. Tony Guijen Liang and his staff, who were responsible for rolling out Chinese language programmes in schools around the country.

“We love you Tony and Chinese teachers. May you all be safe and return to Samoa soon,” states a message from a Magiagi student. 

Responding to the messages through China’s Wechat application, Dr. Liang said the students’ comfort and reassuring messages are keeping them going.

“We appreciate that very much and I am proud of having their love, care and support. Chinese people always remember those who show friendship in hard times. A friend in need is a friend indeed,” he said. “Now, people’s lives in most parts of China are getting normal. Thank you again my dear friends and students in Samoa.”

According to a teacher at Magiagi, who did not want to be identified, the presence of the Chinese lecturers during classes often led to increased student numbers. 

She said she observed that there were more students in school on the days the Chinese lecturers were taking language classes.

“And they have been learning the Chinese language pretty well and we’re proud of them,” she added.

Currently, a Chinese volunteer from the Confucius Institute is teaching Chinese language classes for students from Vaivase and Magiagi schools, due to the temporary closure of the institute.

Dr. Tony said their date of return to Samoa is yet to be confirmed due to the restrictions imposed on travellers from China, though they’re hopeful that they will return to Samoa soon and reopen the institute.

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