Asia’s rise “is not only unstoppable, it is gathering pace,” Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said at the release of a new policy blueprint entitled ‘Asian Century White Paper’. As part of a new approach toward Asia, Hindi and Mandarin will be introduced into schools in Australia.
Prime Julia Gillard “while Australia was changing — Asia was changing too,” reports The Hindu, “Whatever else this century brings, it will bring Asia’s return to global leadership, Asia’s rise.”
Hindus have welcomed the plans to introduce the teaching Hindi. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, termed this development as a “step in the right direction” for Australia.
The White Paper states: “All Australian students will have the opportunity, and be encouraged, to undertake a continuous course of study in an Asian language throughout their years of schooling. All students will have access to at least one priority Asian language; these will be Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese.”
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that in addition to Hindi; Australian schools should also make facilities available for teaching other Indian languages like Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, etc.
This 312-page White Paper sets out 25 objectives to be met by 2025.