JAKARTA, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The demand for Mandarin Chinese teacher is soaring in Indonesia as more students are showing growing interest in learning Chinese amid deepening bilateral relations, senior Indonesian Mandarin Chinese expert said here Wednesday.
Speaking at a preparation meeting for the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test, an official Chinese language skill assessment similar to TOEFL and IELTS for English, Indonesia Mandarin education coordinating board executive chairman Arifin Zain said the Chinese language has gradually gained large popularity in Indonesia and the numbers of Mandarin Chinese learners, especially the local Indonesians, are increasing year by year.
Indonesia, world's fourth most populous country with the largest Chinese Indonesian population, has 7 million Mandarin Chinese users and learners, according to the data released by Hanban, or the Confucius Institute Headquarters, a Chinese public institution that provides Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services..
"However, the gap between the supply and demand of Chinese language teachers is very big, Indonesia is badly need more qualified Chinese teachers," Zain said.
According to Zain, there are only 220 Chinese teachers from the Chinese mainland teaching in Indonesia currently, and it is far from enough to meet the huge demand.
Zain said the Mandarin studies in Indonesia is banned for more than 30 years for some reasons and the quality of the local Indonesian Mandarin teachers still needs improvement.
For the future development of the Indonesia's Mandarin Chinese studies, Zain urges both the Indonesian and Chinese government to improve education and cultural cooperation, promoting the bilateral teacher exchange and visa facilitation program.
"I expect more overseas volunteer Chinese teachers can come and teach in Indonesia and more Confucius Institutes from China can be built," Zain said, referring to the non-profit public institution promoting Chinese language and facilitating cultural exchanges globally.