I had put away an article about the PRC’s control of textbooks in elementary schools, but somehow it disappeared. However, I did find this article that addresses education in the PRC: China battles foreign influence in education (see: http://econ.st/2ohbkLf, which is also the photo source).
The Chinese have always been long haul players. Unlike many other cultures, the Chinese understand that influence requires frequency of messaging and controlling messages.
One of the dilemmas faced by countries is how much influence they want to let in from the outside and who can access it. According to the article the last front in the influence war are international schools catering to Chinese citizens and migrants, non-Chinese citizens inside China. Attendance at these schools has, for the most part been restricted.
One of the more interesting approaches to insuring that the youngest students get only ‘approved’ messages is a new law that “bans for-profit private schools from teaching the first 9 years of compulsory education.”
Of course you must appreciate that most parents want their children to attend prestigious Chinese Universities. Entrance exams for these native schools ‘prize rote learning over critical or lateral thinking.”
As noted in the article “The Communist Party is instead seeking to inculcate young Chinese with its own ideological values: the new directive on for-profit schools calls on them to “strengthen Party-building”. After pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, nationalistic “patriotic education” classes were stepped up in schools, a move that Xi Jinping, the president, has taken to new levels since 2012, seeking to infuse every possible field with “patriotic spirit”. “Morals, language, history, geography, sport and arts” are all part of the campaign now. Unusually, he also seeks to include students abroad in this “patriotic energy”.
The article concludes on a somewhat optimistic note: “Restricting for-profit schooling also risks hitting another growing educational market: urban private schools that cater to migrant children who cannot get places in regular state schools because they do not have the required residence permits. A law that undermines educational opportunities for the privileged and the underprivileged at once could prove far more incendiary than a little foreign influence.”
PSYOPers should be aware of the power of schools, even our own. If you have not taken part in your child’s career day you are missing an opportunity to share your experiences, but to also experience a bit of your child’s education. Clearly something every parent should do.