(BEIJING) CCP REPORT: Chinese pupils are returning to school with new textbooks peppered with “Xi Jinping thought”, as he aims to extend his personality cult to children as young as seven and rear a new generation of patriots #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.02: The education ministry said it would incorporate Mr Xi’s vaguely defined political ideology into the national curriculum, from primary schools to graduate programs, beginning with the new school year on Wednesday….

#AceDailyNews says that ‘Brainwashing starts from childhood’: China’s children get schooled in Xi Jinping ‘thought’ as Primary school teachers must “plant the seeds of loving the party, the country and socialism in young hearts”, according to a government notice on the new curriculum.

Buses full of schoolchildren sporting new shoes and red scarves over their uniforms were dropped off at school gates on Wednesday, weighed down by oversized backpacks.

The new school books are decorated with the President’s pithy quotes and images of his smiling face, with elementary school students served up chapters on the achievements of Chinese civilisation and the Communist Party’s role in poverty alleviation and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lessons are interspersed with quotes from Mr Xi on patriotism and duty, as well as anecdotes of his meetings with citizens.

Xi Jinping raises a glass of red wine to toast
Lessons in China will draw on anecdotes and quotes from Mr Xi. (Reuters: Thomas Peter)

“Grandpa Xi Jinping is very busy with work, but no matter how busy he is, he still joins our activities and cares about our growth,” one textbook says.‘Keep your eyes on the sun’On the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing is more influential — and controversial — than ever.

His “thought” encompasses 14 principles including “absolute party leadership” over the military and “improving living standards through development”.

It was enshrined in the constitution during a 2018 legislative meeting that abolished term limits and paved the way for him to rule indefinitely.

The principles are now cited regularly by officials in wildly varying contexts from fighting coronavirus to literature and art, and universities have opened institutes dedicated to Mr Xi’s thought.

The push to indoctrinate children with his political thinking brings the Xi ideology to its youngest audience yet.

‘Can we refuse this?’

It comes as the CCP conducts a wider campaign to fight what it considers corrupting influences on the youth, from video games to celebrities and foreign educational tools.

Textbooks for older children delve into more complex topics such as the country’s aerospace industry and the path to becoming a “modern socialist great power”.

Several parents privately expressed discomfort about the curriculum but declined to be interviewed, fearing they would get in trouble for speaking to foreign media.

A close up of a large group of performers in blue and white uniforms waving CCP flags at centenary celebrations.
Some parents in China have reportedly raised concerns about the new curriculum.(Reuters: Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

But the policy has been met with subtle pushback by anonymous internet commentators.

“Brainwashing starts from childhood,” one user of the Weibo social media platform wrote.

“Can we refuse this?” asked another.

Wang Fei-Ling, a professor of international affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology, said the textbooks were an example of the Communist Party’s effort to “bet on a cult of personality in a Mao-like strong leader”.China’s compulsory patriotic educationChina’s patriotic education is one of the country’s most successful propaganda campaigns.

“However, given what has happened in Chinese society over the past four decades, I think many parents may not like it very much and many students may find it boring — but few would or could protest it publicly,” Dr Wang added.

“Most are likely to simply not take it very seriously.”

While China has long given schoolchildren patriotism and political education, the new curriculum is “about promoting the cult of Xi as much as about instilling a greater sense of nationalism”, China researcher Adam Ni said.

State media has touted Mr Xi’s expectations for China’s youth, with the official Xinhua news agency quoting his exhortation for young people to “strive to have pure hearts, sound personalities and integrity” in an article this week marking the new school year.

AFP

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