While Hong Kong people continue fighting for freedom and democracy, school students in the mainland are instructed by CCP-trained teachers to hate them.
by An Xin
Exams as an indoctrination tool
In October last year, students in a high school of Fuzhou, the capital of the southeastern province of Fujian, were asked to buy the recent issue of Current Affairs, a journal published by the CCP’s Publicity Department to be used as supplementary teaching material for schools. The matters discussed in the journal are often included in college entrance exams, so students were told that studying them would increase their chances of passing.
Among the topics in this particular issue for high school students were the protests in Hong Kong, which were presented as a negative example, demonstrators portrayed as “thugs and separatists, incited by foreign forces.”
An article “Who Is Behind Hong Kong Riots” criticizes the United States, claiming that “There are many American faces among the violent protestors. Organizations abroad not only instructed the violent activities, but some of them even participated in these vicious attacks.”
According to a politics teacher from Fuzhou, school instructors have to integrate topics as described in the Current Affairs into their lessons to help students develop “the sense of ethnic identity and nationality.” They are told to convince young people to support the Chinese government’s decisions on Hong Kong issues.
“Our teachers told us that the topic of Hong Kong would be included in college entrance exams. We could get high scores if we know it well,” a high school student told Bitter Winter. “We must learn whatever we are taught, right or wrong, true or false so that we could get into colleges. We must learn whatever the government tells us to learn.”
The topic of Hong Kong protests was also included in the mid-term exam of Politics and the Rule of Law for the 8th grade in six middle schools of Fujian’s Zhangzhou city. Questions in the section “Society & Rules” describe these protests as “riots perpetrated by thugs” and “Western anti-China forces.”
“The government wants to incite hatred toward these protestors through exams, fearing that we’ll learn the truth,” a student told Bitter Winter.
“They’re not worthy of being Chinese”
Another student from Fuzhou said that teachers in her high school have been portraying Hong Kong protestors as “violent criminals.” Her politics teacher called them “barbarians” as she played a video in class, which, she claimed, “depicted the demonstrators attacking journalists.” “Protestors are uncivilized thugs. They’re not worthy of being Chinese,” one of the students yelled after watching the video. This has obviously pleased the teacher, who praised him, adding that “students here are so patriotic.”
“Our teachers never explained to us why people in Hong Kong protest. They only show us videos where people are beaten,” the student continued. “These videos are purposefully selected to demonstrate that protestors are violent.” She added that her math teacher warned her class that they would “become the society’s rubbish like the Hong Kong thugs,” if they didn’t follow the rules and discipline and “don’t love the country.”
“If I hadn’t learned from foreign media that Hong Kong people are fighting for democracy and freedom, then I would have believed whatever teachers told me and also considered these demonstrators as thugs,” the student said.
The majority of young people on the mainland learn about the protests from the slandering reports in the state-controlled media, which withholds the true demands of the protestors. This informational vacuum, supported by the upside-down education in schools, is intended to inflame students’ hatred toward the pro-democracy movement. A student revealed to Bitter Winter that some of his schoolmates already treat the use of products from Hong Kong as treachery. His female classmate was called a “Hong Kong lackey” by another student just because she bought some cosmetics from Hong Kong.
To ensure that teachers remain at the helm of indoctrinatory education, schools across China organized them to sign the so-called “moral commitments” at the start of the new school year in 2019. They pledged “to support the leadership of the Communist Party, implement Xi Jinping’s thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics and the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the CCP.”