Lawmaker suggests making relationship and marriage education a compulsory course in universities
Published: Mar 08, 2021 06:41 PM
Chinese band Mayday based on the island of Taiwan livestream a concert Photo: Courtesy of TME Live   A girl is jogging with a mask.    A waitress showcases the serving chopsticks in East China’s Jiangsu Province.  A newly wedded couple showcase their marriage certificates. Photos: IC, VCG

A newly wedded couple showcase their marriage certificates. Photos: IC

The hashtag for a proposal to establish a compulsory relationship and marriage education course in universities has topped the trending list on Chinese social media on Monday, with netizens putting posts covering both the pros and cons of such a move.

The proposal was made by Yu Xinwei, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. She proposed compiling a textbook of actual cases involving dating, marriage, family relationships and parent-child relationships that would be used in a compulsory course.  

"Chinese college students lack emotion education. They are prone to excessive mental ups and downs and may even carry out extreme behavior when suffering setbacks in a relationship," said Yu.

The number of cases of college students committing suicide due to relationship problems has been increasing in recent years. A survey on the mental health of college students shows that relationship is an important factor that affects their mental health, according to a report from China Education Daily.

Liu Xuan, a college student based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday that she did not know how to deal with sexual relations, which made her resistant to get intimate in a relationship.

As a group of people just entering the society, students' values on love and marriage represent the future of social marriage and family. Strengthening marriage and love education among college students is conducive to the stability and harmony of their future partnerships and family relations, Yu explained.

Wu Lei, a psychology teacher at Tianjin Normal University, agreed with Yu's view, saying that launching the course in universities could help students establish healthy values when it comes to relationships and marriage, which is closely related to some social issues such as divorce rate and AIDS.

Some college students told the Global Times that they are in favor of the proposal as this course could help them improve their emotional quotient, which would benefit them in pursuing a career after graduation.

"I find that companies also require recruited personnel to be very well-rounded in addition to having excellent academic achievements, thus, the course could be a supplementto help us adapt to society quickly while hunting for jobs," Han Rui, a 20-year-old college student based in Yunnan Province, told the Global Times.

However, some netizens were against the proposal by saying that "Love cannot be taught."

"Everyone has their own view on marriage and love, and I suspect that teachers might add some subjective opinions when teaching, and cause some controversy among the students, so it might be more acceptable to set it as an optional course," Liu said. 

Wang Tingting, a psychological researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences, told the Global Times that she is in favor of the proposal but the details including the curriculum, teaching method and teachers need to be carefully considered.

She recommended inviting veteran psychological counselors and other social figures as important supplementary forces for full-time college teachers to enrich classroom resources and enhance the practicality of the course.