Some Canadian schools see China’s Confucius Institute as a handy teaching tool. Others reject it as propaganda

The students yell the answer, then move along to a game that involves finding hidden trinkets underneath rows of plastic cups, following directions shouted in English and Mandarin. 

Kildare is one of 14 schools in the Edmonton Public School Board’s jurisdiction that takes part in programming offered by the Confucius Institute. That includes Mandarin classes but also other subjects taught in Mandarin, ranging from physical education to math.

The Institute is partly funded by China’s Ministry of Education and offers programming at elementary and high schools, as well as colleges and universities across Canada. China provides annual funding to run the programs as well as Chinese instructors who are are paid by China. In Edmonton’s case, they work alongside the school’s regular teachers to deliver language immersion programming.

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