On Wednesday, the general offices of the Central Committee and State Council jointly released new guidelines to improve the teaching of political theory and ideology.
Some context: All Chinese students must take classes in political theory and ideology from elementary school.
More context: In our experience, most students hate these courses, and tend to view them as a chore to be endured.
Xi Jinping wants to change that. He has been actively seeking to increase and improve political education since 2016.
For Xi, this is a matter of fundamental importance, as reflected in the new guidelines (Gov.cn):
“Education is of fundamental importance for the country, and fundamental importance for the Party.”To that end, the new guidelines will:Improve political theory teaching materialsEnsure an adequate number of staff to teach political theory at universitiesMake sure that teachers of political theory are trained and competent
Get smart: The education system is a powerful tool for shaping the national psyche. For instance, the patriotic education campaign begun in the early 1990s has done much to create a generation of ardent nationalists.
Our thought: Promoting nationalism is easy. But getting kids into political ideology is a much tougher lift.
Gov.cn: 中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅印发《关于深化新时代学校思想政治理论课改革创新的若干意见》