School pupils in Moray will be transported from the north-east to the Far East with the opening of the region’s first Chinese classroom.
The Confucius base is scheduled to open at Elgin Academy at the end of the month with language and culture lessons for students.
Two Chinese-speaking teachers will be based in the classroom, but will take lessons at five other secondary schools and eight primary schools in the region.
The initiative will also open up the opportunity for pupils and staff to take part in courses in the Asian country.
Elgin City North councillor Mike Shand said: “China’s economy is only going to grow in the future. It’s something that we can’t ignore.
“Anything to give our pupils a greater understanding of the country for the years to come can only be a good thing.
“In the past, pupils have learned French, Spanish or even Russian in schools. This is just an extension of that and will enhance opportunities for students.”
The cost of the initiative has been paid for by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, which is funded by the Scottish Government and the Confucius Institute Headquarters of China.
Sheena Duffus, quality improvement officer at Moray Council, said: “The vision is to promote and support the delivery of high quality Chinese language learning, so that all Scotland’s children and young people have the opportunity to learn about the language and culture.
“In this way, they can become global citizens, develop key skills for learning, life and work and make a significant contribution to a fairer, smarter and more successful Scotland.”