Dr Alasdair Allan - Blog

09 December 2013

Alasdair Allan _MSPThe Scotland-China Education Network (SCEN) plays a vital role in maintaining links with this country and the world's most populous, with a particular emphasis on what we can learn from each other at school level.

I have been very pleased to see the great enthusiasm of many young people from around Scotland for learning about China and Chinese, particularly in the context of our ambitious languages agenda.

This week's event in Gleneagles saw Mr Zhang Huazhong, Depute Chinese Consul General and Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, former Governor of Hong Kong, join many young people and their teachers, to discuss how to further develop a long-term relationship with China that is based on mutual learning, shared values, partnership and trust.

In Scotland's schools we are setting an ambitious direction for future language learning and teaching - our 1+2 approach, learning a first additional language and then a second, starting early in primary school. We know this is essential if our young people are to have the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly globalised world.

I feel that Chinese has a key part to play in the future of language learning in Scotland and I believe that with the assistance of SCEN we have come far in recent years. The variety and extent of its work to promote collaboration and mutual learning between Scotland and China, with schools and also with universities and business partners bodes very well for strong future collaboration between our two countries.

I truly believe that young people can and must have a strong voice in shaping their own education. I want young people, students and everyone concerned with language learning to share their views and experiences, so we can ensure the learning opportunities on offer in Scotland are second to none.

Dr Alasdair Allan MSP 

Minister for Learning, Science & Scotland's Languages