“Xi Jinping Thought” School Curriculum Arouses Chinese Parents

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China politics and policy updates

A campaign that allowed 10-year-old children to learn the political philosophy of Chairman Xi Jinping was called “disgusting” by some parents and evoked memories of Mao Zedong’s personal cult.

More than a dozen parents across the country told the Financial Times that they were uneasy about opening a “Xi Jinping Thought” course next month.Philosophy of the same name featuring patriotism education and praise of the Communist Party of China General secretary, Next month will become part of the national curriculum from elementary school to university.

“I really hate the idea of ​​forcing children to learn ideology,” said a mother of a 10-year-old child in eastern Jiangsu province who asked not to be named. “But I can’t express my concerns in front of my son.”

“This is disgusting,” said the father of a school-age daughter who asked not to be named in central Henan Province. He hoped that his daughter would “forget everything after the exam.”

The strong opposition highlights the difficulties the party faces in making Xi Jinping’s philosophy a national philosophy Ruling ideology For future generations.

For decades, the CCP has been compulsory teaching communist ideology in schools, but the latest curriculum will impose an extraordinary young audience. It also focused more narrowly on the worship of a single leader, igniting memories of Mao Zedong’s 10-year Cultural Revolution, which caused millions of deaths.

Books by Chinese President Xi Jinping are on display at the annual Hong Kong Book Fair © Bertha Wang/AFP/Getty

In the past 30 years, the doctrine of communism did not appear in the curricula of Chinese schools until middle school, and a wider range of Chinese leaders appeared in the textbooks.

Xia Ming, a political science professor at the City University of New York, said: “As diversity and inclusiveness are becoming more and more popular in other parts of the world, China is embracing a cult of personality.”

Starting from the third grade, students have one class every week, lectures on ideas, and each province uses the same textbook. The course will last for one semester and is also suitable for high schools, universities and graduate students.

According to a notice issued by the Office of the National Textbook Committee of the Ministry of Education this week, primary school students must be aware that “General Secretary Xi leads the whole party and the people of the country”, and graduate students must be able to “propagate, explain, and research” his ideas.

The committee stuffed textbooks with photos of Xi Jinping and quotes from his speeches. Wu Yujun, a professor at Beijing Normal University and one of the authors of the third-year textbook, said that students should get to know the president “closely.”

This third-grade textbook tells a story about how his mother gave him a speech about the patriotic Song Dynasty general when he was very young, and how it inspired Xi Jinping’s love for China.

The fifth-grade textbook portrayed Xi, who had served as an assistant to the Secretary of Defense for a short time but had no military experience, as an “veteran soldier” who often wore military uniforms when he was young and had “deep feelings” for national defense. army.

Some teachers even ask students to thank Xi, so that they can enjoy their favorite hobbies. This year, in Xi’s concept test class, a teacher from a school in Hangzhou famous for its football strengths told the students and players that they have benefited a lot from the “care” of the leaders.

Teacher Zhang Jiajia said in a TV speech: “I let the students know that Grandpa Xi always accompanies us and encourages us.”

Supplementary report by Emma Zhou in Beijing

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