Romain Dallemand, schools superintendent for Georgia’s Bibb County, is pushing a mandatory Mandarin education for every student in local public schools, but not all local residents share his enthusiasm. From Adam Ragusea at NPR:
“Students who are in elementary school today, by 2050 they’ll be at the pinnacle of their career,” Dallemand says. “They will live in a world where China and India will have 50 percent of the world GDP. They will live in a world where, if they cannot function successfully in the Asian culture, they will pay a heavy price.”
[…] Instructors and other young teachers from China are being provided to Bibb County schools by a nearby Confucius Institute, one of a number of nonprofit cultural centers partially funded by the Chinese government. Beijing wants to spread Mandarin abroad, and at just $16,000 per instructor per year, the price is right for Dallemand.
“Bibb County is not known for producing the highest-achieving graduates,” says Macon resident Dina McDonald. “You’ll see that many of them can’t even speak basic English.”