Denmark’s education minister has called for Chinese to be included on the nation’s secondary school curriculum. Liberal Tina Nedergaard believes that the widely spoken Asian language should rank alongside French and German as a finals matriculation subject.
The proposal is also supported by the opposition as well as Local Government Denmark and the Danish Confederation of Industries (DI). Although some private schools already offer Chinese as an extra subject, there is currently no approved Danish exam for the language.
“I would like to see more Danish children starting to learn Chinese at an early stage. There do not appear to be any legal barriers, and if there are, we will remove them,” Nedergaard said, adding that it would, however, be up to the individual school to choose whether or not to offer the subject.
The Confucius Institute, which has two departments in Demark, supports education in Chinese around the world.
According to the institute, there has been an increase of parents of Danish secondary school pupils who want their children to learn the language.
China is currently Denmark’s 10th largest export destination but according to DI it could move up to third place by 2030.
“Chinese at school is not just a fad, and if the language is to be taken seriously then it should be an examination subject. The most important thing is that more young people come out of school with more than one foreign language,” said DI Research Policy Head Charlotte Ronhof in a report by Politiken.