China schools: 'Xi Jinping Thought' introduced into curriculum

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Senior three students study in the classroom for the upcoming national college entrance examImage source, Getty Images
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School students will now have "Xi Jinping thought" as part of their curriculum

China will introduce the political ideology of the Chinese President in its national curriculum.

"Xi Jinping thought" will help "teenagers establish Marxist beliefs", said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in new guidelines.

The ideology will be integrated from primary school up to university.

This is the latest effort by Mr Xi to consolidate the ruling Chinese Communist Party's role in different areas of society.

In a statement, the MOE said it aimed "to cultivate the builders and successors of socialism with an all-round moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic grounding".

The guidelines include labour education "to cultivate their hard-working spirit" and education on national security.

In 2018, China's top body enshrined "Xi Jinping Thought" into the constitution.

Since then, it's been introduced across some universities and amongst political youth wings holding extra-curricular activities and schools.

"Xi Jinping Thought" has 14 main principles which emphasise Communist ideals and also:

  • Call for "complete and deep reform" and "new developing ideas"
  • Promise "harmonious living between man and nature"
  • Emphasise "absolute authority of the party over the people's army"
  • Emphasise the importance of "'one country two systems' and reunification with the motherland"

The new guidelines however, will see a much more extensive roll-out.

"Primary schools will focus on cultivating love for the country, the Communist Party of China, and socialism. In middle schools, the focus will be on a combination of perceptual experience and knowledge study, to help students form basic political judgments and opinions," state media outlet Global Times reported.

"In college, there will be more emphasis on the establishment of theoretical thinking," it added.

The ministry is also working on including themes such as party leadership and national defence education into the curriculum, Tian Huisheng, an education ministry official told Global Times.

Previous Chinese leaders have come up with their own political ideologies which have been incorporated into the party's constitution or thinking.

But none, besides party founder Mao Zedong, have had their ideology described as "thought", which is at the top of the hierarchy, and only Mao and Deng Xiaoping have had their names attached to their ideologies.

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