Sa Beilei (L) and Tang Yiting encourage each other at the site where the first Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress was held in 1921, in east China’s Shanghai, Aug. 13, 2019. Eight students are selected as guide to interpret for visitors as their social practice during the summer vacation. Photo: Xinhua

China has issued a guideline to strengthen reform and innovation of ideological and political theory courses in schools. 

The guideline was issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council on Wednesday.

It gives specific goals for ideological and political theory classes. For example, primary school students should be taught to love the Party, the country, socialism and the people, and when they enter college, they should learn to firmly follow the CPC and strive to be qualified successors of socialism. 

It said the courses have been greatly improved since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012. However, new situation and challenges have also emerged. For example, some schools did not attach significant importance to such courses, and the textbooks of those courses needed improvement.  It also calls for better teaching staff.

In order to improve the quality of those courses, the guideline cited the principles to stick to. For instance, the guiding role of the Party should be emphasized; courses should keep pace with times; and the need for high quality teachers. 

Ideological and political education is always vital to nurturing qualified successors to the communist cause of the CPC, Cai Zhiqiang, a professor at the Beijing-based Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times. 

As the international situation gets more complex and chaos continues in the Hong Kong Special Administrational Region, it has become more urgent and relevant to deepening and strengthening ideological and political education among youth,, Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The courses should strengthen students’ faith in socialism and communism, and boost their confidence in China’s path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics.  

“It is an important way to pass down political culture and the great achievements of the CPC to the young generation to help them understand the CPC’s path and inherit the CPC’s lofty ideals to make contributions to the country and the people,” Su said. 

The guideline also stressed the status of teachers in improving ideological and political theory courses. It said that one full-time  ideological and political theory teacher should at least be assigned to no more than 350 students and those teachers must be highly-qualified. 

Ideological and political theory teachers must have strong political integrity, deep feelings, creative thinking, a broad vision, be disciplined and upright, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a symposium in March, urging teachers to improve the ideological and theoretical level of the courses and bring the courses closer to students and make them more focused.

Mu Ah’ni, a veteran Marxism teacher at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing, also said a comprehensive teaching mechanism, such as offline lectures, social practices and online teaching and discussion platforms, also helps enhance ideological and political education.

Mu’s university plans to apply artificial intelligent technology in ideological and political education, Mu noted.