BY SILVI WRITER
China has launched an online platform for schoolkids to learn new socialist thought and Chinese classics “as part of a campaign to consolidate their belief in the Party and inspire them to be reliable socialist successors”.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Chinese Young Pioneers National Working Committee co-launched the campaign in January to allow students to better understand socialism in the new era through reading Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and classics President Xi has quoted in his speeches.
The campaign will last through this year, according to the Global Times.
The People’s Daily has opened special website rmrbsn.cn and mobile app to better enable students to read the articles selected specifically for different age groups.
On the platform, articles for lower grades feature illustrations and explain the Chinese Dream, China’s ethnic groups and the Silk Road. Classical texts are mainly about ancient virtues and wisdom, such as the importance of persistence and that knowledge is only understood profoundly through practice. Teachers and education bureaus can log onto the two platforms to track students’ reading activities.
Lessons on the platform also include “I am Chinese,” which introduces children to the country’s “56 ethnic groups living in harmony,” and “Building a well-off society.”
Another lesson explains how “Grandpa Xi led us into the new era,” replete with illustrations of President Xi Jinping alongside smiling children.
This year is an experiment, and “we hope the reading activities will be normalized in the future,” Gong Jieke, an official from the MOE, told the Global Times.
Schools across China, including Beijing, East China’s Jiangsu Province, Central China’s Henan Province and Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, have also held “collective reading and knowledge quizzes” as a part of the campaign.
Its launch follows the success of Xuexi Qiangguo, translated as “Study the Great Nation” or “Study Strong Country”, an app designed for adults, mainly the country’s 90 million Communist Party members, to better understand Xi Jinping Thought, launched earlier this year.
That app — nicknamed Xi’s digital “little red book” after Chairman Mao’s famous tract — has shot up the app store charts, as all 90 million Communist Party members, as well as many employees of state-owned enterprises have been ordered to download it.
In a notice issued to party members in Hunan province, promotion of the app was described as a mandatory “ideological task” for cadres around the country.
Users can earn scores by reading articles about Xi and watching videos, something which has led many to attempt to hack the process, assuming that a high score could be beneficial down the line.
One tool, hosted on the code-sharing site Github, promises to help users “learn automatically” on the app. Others meanwhile, have turned to more old-fashioned approaches.