China calls for ideology-based education

By Liu Sha Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-21 0:28:01

Values instruction won’t curb independent thinking of students: analyst

Chinese universities have been urged to strengthen ideological education and champion Marxism, traditional culture, socialist core values and the Chinese Dream.

A guideline on the ideological work in colleges issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council states that ideology-based instruction in colleges is "a strategic project that can consolidate the foundation [of values] and shape the spirit."

The guideline underscored the role of universities as the frontline of championing the concepts of Marxism, the Chinese Dream, socialist core values and traditional culture, the Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

The guideline reiterated what Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech on August 20, 2013 about making colleges the breeding ground of Marxism studies.

The ideological and political work should be enhanced at the faculty level, with socialism with Chinese characteristics underlying teaching methods, the guideline added.

"It is the first time for the two general offices to issue a statement on ideology-based university education since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, showing the importance that central authorities attach to ideological work on campus," said Yin Yungong, an expert on the socialist system at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Yin told the Global Times Tuesday that with diverse thoughts prevailing in China, it is time to consolidate the leading role of Marxism and maintain socialist core values and traditional culture.

A report by Liaoning Daily published in November 2014 said that many college teachers mocked Marxism, praised Western values and questioned the central government's major policies. The report said that 80 percent of college students have encountered such teachers. The report which asked teachers to "treat China in a nicer way" has become a hit on the Internet.

An anonymous politics instructor at a college in Kunming, Yunnan Province told the Global Times Tuesday that many students find political classes boring and that many skip such classes. Meanwhile, the instructor also worries that too much emphasis on ideology would affect students' independent thinking.

Students' independent thinking will not be affected, Yin said.

"Politics instructors should develop innovative ways of teaching, not only discussing theories, but also offering real-world examples."

The guideline also stressed the importance of textbooks on Chinese socialism and designing ideological and political classes.

"The textbooks should not only be used in class, but also be absorbed by students," the guideline said.

Systems that approve and supervise students' associations should also be established, the guideline said, adding that religious studies and anti-cult awareness should be also developed.

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