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Australian Prime Minister calls for Asian languages to be prioritised in schools

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has dubbed the "unstoppable" rise of Asia in the last few decases as the "Asian Century", saying that it has seen "a transformation as profound as any that have defined Australia throughout our history", and is preparing to establish firmer connections between the two regions.

Global LanguagesMs Gillard has listed 25 goals that she wishes to meet over the next 13 years, which include offering scholarships to Asian students and requiring a proportion of all company directors and senior civil servants to have a sufficient knowledge of Asia. Additionally, school children will have the opportunity to learn one of the four prioritised languages: Chinese, Hindi, Japanese and Indonesian.

This plan has been a long time in preparation, and Gillard hopes that in the near future all Australian schools will be partnered with schools in Asia. Furthermore broadcasting networks will be encouraged to offer more Asian television, in the hopes that "children in kindergarten now will graduate from high school with a sound working knowledge of Asia."

For the full article, visit: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/9639899/Australian-students-to-study-Asian-languages-as-Gillard-embraces-Asian-Century.html.

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