Scotland’s first teachers of Chinese are to become fully registered members of the profession. Although several Mandarin speakers have been teaching in schools on a language assistant basis or as trainees, this is the first batch to become fully fledged secondary teachers.
The six, who are mostly of Chinese birth or descent, will be given full registration by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), the profession’s governing body, next month.
After registration, the six will teach at St George’s School in Edinburgh, which has led Mandarin education in Scotland, Grange Academy in East Ayrshire and Bathgate Academy.
Rachel Tsai, a Chinese language teacher at St George’s School, said: "Chinese children tend to accept the information without analysing it but Scottish children are much more analytical."
In 2007, the Scottish Government created eight special Confucius classrooms to promote learning of Mandarin as a key language.
Madam Tan, the Chinese consul-general (shown in the illustration on the right), said: "This is an important milestone of Chinese language teaching in Scotland."
The qualifications in Mandarin and Cantonese will be offered to pupils for the first time after the summer holidays, alongside Advanced Highers.
The Scotsman reported that Glasgow, West Lothian and North Ayrshire have said they will each have one school offering the Higher. But a survey showed 25 councils will not be offering the qualification.