The Ministry of Education of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced that both schools and universities would have to add to their curricula texts on the political thought of the head of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping. “Teenagers must be helped to believe in Marxism,” CCP authorities said.
On Tuesday, August 24, the CCP’s Ministry of Education issued a new order that aims to “cultivate the successors of socialism with a comprehensive moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic foundation,” the BBC reported citing Chinese state media.
“Primary schools will focus on fostering love for the country, for the CCP and for socialism. Secondary schools will combine study with perceptual experience, while in universities the emphasis will be on theoretical thinking,” the text stresses.
One of the compulsory books to be imposed in the new student program is “Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era.” The book is intended to “gradually forge” the young generation’s confidence in supporting socialism and the Party’s leadership, the ministry said in a July 8 announcement.
The book will begin to be read in classrooms starting in September after the summer vacation ends and the student body resumes school and academic activities.
The idea of building cults of personality is nothing new in communism. The great efforts to indoctrinate the Chinese youth by imposing idolatry for their leaders come from the first stage of the CCP, being its greatest achievement the cult throughout China of the dictator Mao Zedong.
The same logic of “deifying” earthly leaders, who often turn out to be tyrants and dictators, was a characteristic of all socialist nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Educational institutions are also asked to reinforce “revolutionary traditions” to “continue developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the controversial curriculum.”
Xi Jinping’s political thought was presented and endorsed virtually unanimously at the 19th CCP Congress in October 2017. His ideas were also inscribed in the Party’s statutes and the Constitution
Since that time, thousands of CCP member officials have been obliged to read Xi’s speeches and study his political theory, which according to the Asian country’s official media, represents a “historic contribution” to the development of the Party and the readaptation of Marxism to the contemporary Chinese context.
But the new guidelines will see a much more extensive penetration of “Xi’s thought,” indoctrinating the Chinese from their early childhood to university.
According to Tian Huisheng, an education ministry official to Global Times, the ministry is also working to include topics such as party leadership and national defense education in the curriculum.
In addition to pushing for the study of communist ideology in the classroom, the regime has taken steps to exclude teaching languages and subjects linked to Western thought and culture.
So much so that the Shanghai municipal government’s education bureau put an end to elementary school English examinations in early August. The regime also warned of a ban on foreign language books not reviewed or approved by educational authorities.