A new document clarifies that the school’s CCP cell should take all important decisions, and make sure students are “educated for the Party”
by Kang Bojing
In the last month of January, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issued the “Opinions on the Establishment of the Principal Responsibility System for the Leadership of Party Organizations in Primary and Secondary Schools (Trial).” “Trial” means that the directives can be further motified, but an accompanying notice clarifies they should be implemented immediately.
The aim of the “Opinions” is to tighten the control of the CCP on primary and secondary schools. Some may object that this control is already tight enough. But this is not the opinion of the CCP, which insists that the control should be “strengthened,” and that not all principals and teachers understand that “the Party’s overall leadership over education is the fundamental guarantee for running education well.”
Some still believe that students are educated to find a good job. This opinion should be corrected: students are educated “for the Party and for the Country,” and decisions on their education are the responsibility of the Central Committee, from which local school authorities cannot in any way deviate.
The “Opinions” explain how this general principle may be applied in practice. In each primary or secondary school in China there is a cell of the CCP—or there should be since the document states that in some schools this “fortress” of the ideology has not yet been established.
The Central Committee wants principals and teachers to understand that it is this Party cell that runs the school. “What is necessary, the document states, is to improve the system and mechanism to make the leading role of the Party cells in primary and secondary schools clear and effective, and ensure that each CCP cell fulfills its leadership responsibilities by guiding the direction of the school, managing the overall situation, making all the important decisions, hiring the teachers, leading the teachers, and ensuring implementation of the CCP directives.”
This, the “Opinions” explain, will solve a problem Xi Jinping has denounced, i.e. that “ideological and political work” and “cultivating love for the Party” are not given the role they should have in education. Yes, there are classes on “socialist values” and “Xi Jinping’s thought,” but they are taught and received with insufficient enthusiasm.
The “Opinions” ask each Party cells in each school, or the local Party committees for the schools where there are no CCP cells (why this is the case should be explained) to report to the higher echelons of the Party periodically, and list in details what has been done to implement these directives.
In each new document, on all aspects of Chinese society, the CCP continues to claim that the existing system of control is not sufficient and more is needed. This confirms that, as the documents of January’s yearly conference on Central Political and Legal Work revealed, the CCP, despite its enormous surveillance machinery, does not feel safe.