CCP is intensifying ideological indoctrination in schools by glorifying revolutionary past and making students cram the current Communist Party doctrines.
Adherence to the Communist Party ideology has become the most important content of education in China. The CCP is strictly prohibiting religions from entering school campuses and uses a variety of means to subject students to indoctrinating teachings to ensure that its “red” ideology is passed down from generation to generation.
Ideology comes first
At the end of March, the Education and Sports Bureau of Yugan county, under the jurisdiction of Shangrao city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, issued a notice on the need to rectify ideological work with schools after an inspection from the central government identified problems in this field. According to the document, Christianity is competing with the Communist Party for territory and people’s hearts, the work being carried out through churches and religious meeting venues. It is therefore essential that every primary and middle school, as well as kindergartens, expanded ideological work on young people to improve their political standing.
The notice demands each educational institution to implement activities promoting “gratitude to the Party, obeying and following it,” resolutely boycott religion, and make sure that children do not enter places of worship. According to the notice, all must recognize that “the only way to rise from poverty, become prosperous, and move toward happiness is to firmly rely on the Chinese Communist Party and its good policies.”
“Red education” – an essential part of the curriculum
In May, multiple schools in Dongxiang district of Jiangxi’s Fuzhou city organized a “red education experience tour,” during which students were taken to Jinggangshan – a county-level city bordering Hunan Province, considered the “cradle of the Chinese revolution.”
A base for the Chinese Communists and the Red Army in the 1920s, the city has been turned into an activity center providing various training courses that glorify China’s proletarian revolution. Dressed in the uniforms of the time, teachers and students can experience the life of Red Army soldiers. The ultimate goal of the activities is to inspire new communists by strengthening students’ political ideology and beliefs, as well as promoting patriotic pride in China’s past.
According to one of the teachers in the district, in late May, more than 700 students from one school alone were organized to go to Jinggangshan. Students wore Red Army uniforms, carried schoolbags imprinted with a portrait of Mao Zedong, shouted the slogan “Obey orders, obey commands” in unison, and were educated about the revolution.
Video: Students shouting the slogan “Obey orders, obey commands”
Parents were also demanded to rent and dress their children in the uniforms of the Eighth Route Army – the leading force during the second Sino-Japanese War, as World War II is known in China. Carrying prop knives or guns, the children were bowing and saluting to a Mao Zedong statue. Parents were ordered to take photos of their children and send them to the school’s WeChat group for inspection.
Punished for inability to recite core socialist values
In early April, the Education Bureau of Yifeng county, under the jurisdiction of Jiangxi’s Yichun city, randomly visited each school to inspect if students could recite from memory the core socialist values.
Two students from a primary school were unable to recite all the values, which resulted in their head teacher being criticized by her superiors. The teacher was so angry that she ordered the two students to stand next to the podium and viciously scolded them. A student at another primary school, who was unable to recite the core socialist values, was forced to sweep the school’s ground for ten days as a punishment.
Using Children’s Day to promote communist ideals
On May 25, eight national ministries issued a Joint Notice on Celebrating Children’s Day in 2019, demanding each local government and education department to conduct a “love the Party, love the country, and love socialism” propaganda activity for children. To “properly fasten the first button of life,” as President Xi Jinping once said, talking about the importance of raising the new generation of Chinese socialism successors.
Subsequently, primary and middle schools and kindergartens in Mianchi county in Henan organized Children’s Day performances, focusing on the Party ideology, entitled Socialist Successors, My Motherland and I, Always Remember the Core Socialist Values, Sparkling Red Star, My Chinese Dream, and alike. According to some audience members, the students singing repetitive revolutionary songs resembled the Little Red Guards, a selective children’s organization sanctioned by the Communist Party in 1967-1978.
“In the past, regular children’s songs were performed on Children’s Day. Nowadays, children sing red songs that they cannot even understand,” one Christian parent said angrily. “The government forcibly indoctrinates children with the ideology to love the Party. That is nothing but an attempt to turn them into successors of communist atheism who are loyal to the Party.”
Video: Children were dancing to the red song Sparkling Red Star.