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Remarks by H.E. Zhang Yiming at the Handover Ceremony of Anti-pandemic Supplies to Schools in Khomas Region

Hon. Laura McLeod-Katjirua, Governor of Khomas Region,

Mr Paul Lewin, Acting Education Director of Khomas Region,

Principals and learners,

Friends from media,

Good Morning!

First of all, I would like to welcome you all , especially Governor Laura to the Chinese Embassy to attend the handover ceremony. We will donate 45,000 surgical masks, 4000 N95 masks and 35 forehead thermometers to help local teachers and learner fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. All the seven schools here have built strong bonds with China. Some of them are beneficiaries of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship and Panda Pack Project, and some have Chinese learners. I would like to take this opportunity to render support to our Namibian friends and the young students in particular .

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 last year, Khomas Region, where the national capital locates, with a large population, has been under tremendous pressure in the course of containing the pandemic. The Chinese provinces and cities, namely Jiangsu, Shanghai, Chongqing, Nanjing, Suzhou have donated 5 batches of anti-pandemic supplies with a total value of more than 1 million Namibian dollars to Khomas Region and Windhoek, among which there are 140,000 masks. In December last year, the second wave of the COVID-19 broke out in Namibia, schools became the most vulnerable part of the society. In some regions, the infection rate of learners was as high as 40%, and the rate of teachers reached 6%. The Chinese Embassy is deeply concerned about this and is willing to do its utmost to assist. We hope today’s donation can help the seven schools better fend off the pandemic and resume their curriculum.

The youth is the future of a country. As an all-weather friend, China always cares about the development of the education in Namibia. To name a few, the Chinese government donated the campus of Chairman Mao Zedong High School, Tianjiu Hope Primary School and Onashikuvu Combine School, Oshikoto region and will also aided 4 schools in Kanvango East, West and Zambezi Region. In the past 4 years at my stay in Namibia, Schools are the places I visited most frequently. We have introduced the Panda Pack Project to Namibia and established the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship. More than 600 students from 35 schools of all the 14 regions have been awarded the scholarship, and 50,000 students from 133 school received Panda packs donated by the Chinese public. Although we can not hold the scholarship ceremony this year as we used to do, we hope to resume it as soon as the pandemic releases.

I would like to introduce a special principal to you, Ms Chen Minru. She works in the Amitofo Care Center (ACC), which was set up by good Samaritans from Taiwan, China. Ms Chen and her colleagues are taking care of orphans and dropout students, by providing free formal basic education and accommodation and teaching them Chinese, arts, Kongfu and other featured courses. The enrollment of the school has surpassed 160students.This a reflection of the compassion and fraternity from the Chinese people, through which is a bridge of cultural exchange is established between China and Namibia.

A thriving education makes a thriving country, while a powerful education makes a powerful country. The Chinese government and the Chinese Embassy in Namibia are willing to further strengthen cooperation with Namibia in the field of education, to help Namibia cultivate more talents for the future! I also hope all the school learners can study hard, make full use of your youth time, and become envoys for building the China-Namibia friendship!

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