Chinese Education Since 1949. Academic and Revolutionary by Theodore Hsi-en Chen

By Theodore Hsi-en Chen

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A t one time, there was pressure on all students in secondary schools and higher institutions to join the organizations, and most of the students chose to comply. Whenever a mass campaign was on foot in the nation, whether for the suppression of counterrevolutionaries, for struggle against imperialism, or for the elimination of agricultural pests, League members took the lead in generating the support of students and teachers and their participation in the campaign within the schools and outside.

The much vaunted leadership of the working class had little meaning as long as it was composed of illiterate people who were little concerned with affairs outside their own small community. From the practical point of view, political-ideological indoctrination and the learning campaign would not go very far unless large numbers of people could read the posters, the slogans, and the numerous leaflets and handbills produced by the propaganda agencies and the mass campaigns. The literacy campaign used a variety of methods: literacy classes, reading circles, encouraging the literate to teach the illiterate wherever found and the school children to teach their parents.

They had labored under the erroneous belief that they would be able to hold their own ideological concepts as the private affair of individuals and that they would be able to serve under the new regime without embracing the Communist ideology. They did not realize that the class struggle, a concept fundamental to the Communist ideology, meant not only a struggle against exploiting classes such as the landlords and the greedy merchants, but also an ideological struggle against thought patterns not compatible with the Communist ideology.

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