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Chinese Education 4

The People"s Republic of China-Period of The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)

The two tiered system of education continued to flourish until 1966. Mao believing that his party was loosing the revolutionary fervor and was creating a privileged elite that was a threat to the socialist regime. He accused the party of capitalist tendencies, bureaucratism, elitism, and inefficiency. By calling on the young people to actively revive the revolutionary spirit, he launched a ten-year period called "The Cultural Revolution"

Students formed 芒鈧揜ed Guards芒鈧?and 芒鈧搑evolutionary rebels芒鈧?and went out among the populous to destroy the old culture, the old ideology, the old customs, and the old habits. Education, having a considerable impact on social and economic development, became the first targets of attack and Mao declared that education should be revolutionalized.36

At the onset of the Cultural Revolution schools were closed so that teachers and students could focus all their energy on the revolution. Decisions about education per se moved from the control of the Ministry of Education intellectuals to various subcommittees of the Communist Party Central Committee made up of local workers soldiers, peasants and politically correct teachers. The revolution in education featured a system in which:

1) the curriculum replaced theory with concepts related to work;
2) meritocracy and academic achievement was not recognized24;
3) the length of pre-post secondary schooling was cut from 12 to 10 years;
4) study in the classroom was combined with field work (five months in classroom, one month each in factory, farm and army);
5) courses in history, geography or literature were eliminated;
6) graduates were given jobs in factories and farms;
7) all entrance examinations were abolished;
8) students were selected to pursue post secondary education on basis of virtue; students from families of workers, peasants or soldiers were deemed to be the most virtuous.
9) colleges were removed from the leadership of the intellectuals.41, 35

In effect the reforms of the Cultural Revolution 芒鈧?brought about the 芒鈧揹e-schooling芒鈧?of the society by destroying the whole structure of the education system. The teachers were demoralized and came under political suspicion; curricula was non-existent or watered-down, and sound teaching strategies were replaced with group-discussion, non-competitive problem-solving and open-book tests; all without quality control.38 The impact of the reforms was equally devastating on the economy and caused the regime to end the Cultural Revolution a decade after it began. Since Mao"s death the decade has been called"the ten years of turmoil"

 
   
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