President Xi Jinping’s political ideology will soon be incorporated into the curriculum across China, a move analysts believe would solidify his image as a transformative leader and help in the rise of nationalism among the youth.
President Xi Jinping’s political ideology will soon be incorporated into the curriculum across China, a move analysts believe would solidify his image as a transformative leader and help in the rise of nationalism among the youth. Education Minister Chen Baosheng said the new ideology, unveiled at the start of the ruling Communist Party of China’s national Congress would be incorporated into the curriculum across the country, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. “[The thought will] go into textbooks, into classes, and into the brains [of students],” Chen said on the sidelines of the Congress. “We will design specific teaching methods that combine texts … of various grades and subjects,” he said. The formal title of 64-year-old Xi’s ideology will be revealed when the Congress amends the party’s Constitution tomorrow. Communist Party delegates have backed calls for Xi’s name to be added to the party’s Constitution – a move that would put him on a par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
The once-in-a-five-year Congress, besides endorsing Xi’s second five year term and approve his ideological thought will also select a new set of leaders to work with him and Premier Li Keqiang. The new seven member Standing Committee headed by Xi which rules the country would be announced on October 25. Chen said the ministry would start amending textbooks and start the training of teachers as part of the education sector’s “historic task”. The topic will become part of political ideology courses that all students in the education system are required to take.
While first-graders learn to identify the national flag and doctoral candidates analyse communist theory, ninth- graders tackle the list of “guiding principles” from former Chinese leaders, including Mao, Deng, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Xi’s ideology is likely to be taught at fifth or sixth grade, the Post reported. Cheng Chen, a US-based political scientist at the University at Albany, said teaching the new ideology in school would strengthen the image of both Xi and the party as champions of the Chinese nation. “It will solidify Xi’s image as a transformative leader in the history of the people’s republic who ushered in ‘a new era’,” she said.
“It is [also] likely to contribute to a further rise of the already-growing nationalism among Chinese youth, who will now see China as finally arriving at the global centre-stage.” The party has also strengthened its grip on academia since Xi came to power in 2012, warning against the spread of “Western ideas” in classroom and calling on universities to serve the party rule. In June, a number of prominent universities were publicly named and shamed by the party’s discipline inspectors for their weak efforts on the ideological front.