MoFA resumes mandatory language classes for its staffersNearly three decades after putting stop to language training, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has started sending its officials to foreign language courses.
Nearly three decades after putting stop to language training, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has started sending its officials to foreign language courses.
Language training was mandatory for the ministry officials during Panchayat era and until early 1990.
Though the ministry has resumed language training for its junior officers, few high-ranking officials including ambassadors, charge d’affairs speak the local language of the country where they are stationed.
“We have resumed training for our staff in Arabic, Chinese and French languages from this week,” said Tapas Adhikari, the head of Administration Division at the ministry.
The training is expected to be useful for those officials serving in various Nepali missions in the Gulf countries, China and Europe and other Francophone countries.
According to the minister, 26 officials are taking Chinese language course at the Kathmandu-based Confucius Center, which has designed a 180-hour special course for the Foreign Ministry class. The course will last two and a half months.
The ministry has given emphasis to Chinese language training for its officials, considering Nepal’s growing engagements with China and in view of opening new Nepali mission there. Besides, the embassy in Beijing and three consulate general offices in Hong Kong, Lhasa and Guangzhou, Nepal is set to open up another consulate office in Chengdu.
“Language holds a key for any diplomat,” said Adhikari either for communication or meeting or knowing the art, culture, history or any other subject matter, languages count a lot so we decided to impart training our people in three languages that dominance the present world.
The ministry chose Arab language, according to Adhikari, taking into account Nepal’s diplomatic presence in the Gulf and its responsibility towards the growing number of Nepali migrant population there.
Nepal has eight diplomatic missions in the Gulf region: two in Saudi Arabia, one each in Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.
The ministry has outsourced two Arabic language trainers who had worked and served in the Gulf region for over a decade, for the purpose. They will conduct a 130-hour course for 29 ministry staffers.
Similarly, another 23 Foreign Ministry officials and staffers have started attending French classes at the Alliance Française. The French language course will be completed in 135 hours.
“The mandatory language classes will run five days a week,” said Adhikari, adding that the ministry would post officials in foreign missions according to their language proficiency.