Going guoxue

| March 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

While the rest of the world views China as the planet’s greatest modern economic powerhouse, the country’s education ministry wants a curriculum shift to remind children of the nation’s cultural heritage.

At an end-of-year education conference held in the south-western city of Chengdu in 2014, textbook publishers were told to increase the guoxue content – or Chinese philosophy and literature – to 35%.

The revisions are being led by the stateowned Language and Culture Press, headed by Wang Xuming.

Wang, an ardent traditionalist, caused a furore in the Chinese teaching community in September 2014, when he called for the elimination of English classes in schools. He is, nevertheless, not alone. The city of Beijing called for more emphasis on Chinese than English in the notoriously demanding gaokao – or college entrance examination – after President Xi Jinping called traditional Chinese culture the lifeblood of China as well as a “foundation for China to compete in the world”.

Meanwhile, across the globe in the US, the Satanic Temple, a New York-based religious group, released a new colouring book entitled The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities, to be distributed on National Religious Freedom Day.

Reports the Huffington Post: The Virginia General Assembly adopted the Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786 and on 16 January 2015, President Barack Obama announced: “Today, our nation continues to be shaped by people of every religion and of no religion… we must remain vigilant in our efforts to safeguard these freedoms.”

The Satanic Temple said in a statement that it had targeted Orange County in the state of Florida for the release of the colouring book for preschoolers because, although “literature of a denominational, partisan, or sectarian nature shall not be distributed by school officials in any school,” in 2013, a Christian group won approval from the school district to distribute copies of the Bible to schools. “It’s important to have more than one voice in an institution of public education,” said a temple spokesperson.

Category: Autumn 2015

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