(TibetanReview.net, Aug28’21) – The so-called “Xi Jinping Thought”, which is devoid of any Xi Jinping originality or novelty, will become part of school, college and university education porgrammes throughout China from Sep 2021. However, parents of young children are disgusted by this evocation of memories of Mao Zedong’s personality cult but dare not express it openly, said an ft.com report Aug 28.
The report said more than a dozen parents across the country contacted by it were uncomfortable with the rollout of the “Xi Jinping Thought” classes.
The eponymous philosophy, which features a mixture of patriotic education and praise for the Chinese Communist party’s general secretary, will become part of the national curriculum from primary school to university next month, the report noted.
“I really hate the idea of forcing children to study ideology,” it quoted a mother of a 10-year old in eastern Jiangsu province who did not want to be identified as saying. “But I can’t voice my concern in front of my son.”
“This is disgusting,” it quoted a father of a school-aged daughter in central Henan province who also did not want to be identified by name as saying. He was reported to hope that his daughter would “forget about everything after she is done with the exam”.
The report noted that while the party has enforced teaching Communist ideology in schools for decades, the latest curriculum will be imposed on an unusually young audience. It is also more narrowly focused on the adoration of a single leader, stirring memories of Mao’s decade-long Cultural Revolution, which led to the deaths of millions of people.
Starting from the third grade, students will take one class a week about Xi’s ideas, with the same textbooks used in every province. The course will last a semester and will also apply to high school, college and graduate school students, the report said.
A circular issued this week by China’s National Textbook Committee Office of the education ministry was cited as saying that primary school students must be aware that “General Secretary Xi guides the whole party and the Chinese people”, while graduate school students should be able to “publicise, interpret and study” his thoughts.
The committee was started to have filled textbooks with pictures of Xi and quotes from his speeches. Wu Yujun, a professor at Beijing Normal University and one of the authors of the third-grade textbook, has said students should get to know the president “from a short distance”.
The third-grade textbook is stated to tell a story about how Xi’s love for China was fired by a lecture his mother gave him at an early age about a patriotic Song dynasty general.