Singapore

SPH acquires 75% stake in Han Language Centre

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will complete its acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Han Language Centre today, laying the ground for its Chinese Media Group (CMG) to co-develop educational programmes and events for students and adults with the language centre.

With the completion of this acquisition, plans for which were announced in August, SPH will have direct oversight of operations at Han Language Centre.

The centre was founded in 1993 and now has close to 3,000 students enrolled in 18 education centres islandwide.

On top of tuition classes for primary and secondary students, it also co-organises events with Lianhe Zaobao's Student Publications to cultivate children's interest in Chinese language and culture.

The centre's founder and principal Ann Jong Juan, a Cultural Medallion recipient, will hold the remaining stake.

Mr Ann said he wants the centre be seen as a place for people to deepen their interest in the Chinese language.

Education materials at Han Language Centre are developed based on the latest Ministry of Education (MOE) syllabus.

Staff numbers at the centre has been beefed up to 108 after the acquisition, with 10 new hires in the centre's management team, comprising of educators who have had prior experience developing and teaching the MOE curriculum.

BOARD

A new advisory board has also been assembled.

It includes a representative from the Singapore Business Federation, and Dr Foo Suan Fong, who is the executive director of the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language.

SPH's CMG head Lee Huay Leng said it is exploring the possibility of providing bite-sized adult education classes and customised training programmes for corporations in consultation with partners like SBF.

These courses can help working professionals become familiarised with political developments and the business environment of modern China, or help companies looking to expand to China get a sense of how media relations work there.

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