Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 11.25.57 AM( An Israeli Education Ministry task force recently recommended introducing a new Chinese studies course for high school students. The plan would include, for the first time in Israel, an elective matriculation course for the study of Chinese language, culture, and economics.

Since 2009, Israeli high school students have been able to study the Chinese language only. Due to the high demand, Education Ministry officials decided to open the course plan to Chinese culture and the country’s history, which has led China to its current status as an economic and political global power.

In the upcoming school year, some 100 elementary and high schools will begin teaching Mandarin as an elective course, double the number of classrooms teaching the language just a year ago.

“The demand for studying Chinese [in Israel] is growing by the year,” said Tamar Kahat, who heads the Education Ministry’s Chinese Studies Department, according to Israel Hayom.

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