In a bright classroom, about 20 pupils are singing Chinese songs with enthusiasm. But it doesn't happen in a Chinese school. It happens thousands of kilometers away in Lakewood premium school in Nairobi, Kenya's capital.
Here, students are learning Mandarin. Nearly one billion people speak this language in a country which is about 8000 kilometers far from their hometown.
Thirteen-year-old Sandra Vangiru is one of hundreds of African students who are becoming more and more proficient in Chinese.
More students will join them by 2020, the report said. At that time, all schools in Kenya will officially teach Chinese just like French, Arabic and German, which are already included in the curriculum.
Vangiru's Lakewood school started the program
a year in advance, putting its students one step ahead.
"I choose to learn Chinese first because it's interesting to learn a foreign language, and I want to travel and do business in China," Vangiru said.
Kenya is not the only country to teach children Chinese. In South Africa, Chinese has been an elective language course for students since 2016, while in December last year, some middle schools in Uganda offered Chinese courses as well.
Henry adramonni, an expert at Uganda's National Curriculum Development Center, said that Chinese was included in the curriculum because it was one of the official languages of the United Nations. Ugandan students can also choose to study French, Arabic, Latin or German at school.
"We want to give young people in Uganda the opportunity to go abroad for employment, education and business," he said “That's why we offer them the opportunity to learn Chinese. "