BANGKOK, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Thai capital saw a welcoming ceremony Sunday for this year's first batch of Mandarin-teaching volunteers from China, and the total number of the Chinese teachers to Thailand in 2009, after another two batches arrived days later, will amount to 1,028.
"Upon the request and invitation of Thai Ministry of Education, the number of volunteer teachers sent by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) to Thailand this year will surpass 1,000 for the first time," Chinese ambassador to Thailand Guan Mu said on the ceremony.
Winai Rodjay, Deputy Secretary-General for the Basic Education Commission Office of Thai Education Ministry, extended his welcome to the volunteers as well as his thanks to Hanban, the Chinese body that is in charge of the Program of Program for International Chinese Language Teachers launched in 2003.
According to the organization, this is the 8th batch also the largest batch of Chinese volunteer teachers ever sent to Thailand since 2003. The volunteers' overall qualities and teaching abilitywere greatly improved through a strict selection process after their application. They also received special training from Hanban on service awareness, foreign etiquette and how to improve survivability and adaptability.
As Guan put it in his speech, a "wave of Mandarin learning" is burgeoning in Thailand, with 1,105 schools and colleges across the kingdom having introduced Mandarin courses and a total of 400,000 Thai people studying the language in diversified ways.
Winai attributed the "significant enhancement" of Chinese-language-education capacity in Thai state-run schools, especially during the last five to six years, to the support of Chinese volunteer teacher program. Chinese language education will play a key role in the social, economic, cultural exchange and friendship between Thailand and China, he said.
Hanban Deputy Director Wang Yongli, who also attended the event, encouraged these young volunteers to overcome all the difficulties they might encounter in work and life overseas and to devote themselves to their teaching careers.
Hanban, a non-governmental and non-profit organization, is affiliated to the Ministry of Education of China and committed to making the Chinese language and culture teaching resources and services available to the world.