Raise Students' Awareness of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era*
March 18, 2019
The key to improving our education in political philosophy is to fully implement the Party's policies on education. We must be clear about fundamental issues like the purposes, standards and approaches of education. To carry out the Party's education policies in the new era, we must follow the guiding role of Marxism, implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, keep to the path of socialism in managing schools, and take solid measures to build strong moral character. Education should always serve the people, the CPC's governance of China, the development of Chinese socialism, reform and opening up, and socialist modernization. We must base our education on our national conditions and integrate it with work and everyday life. We should push forward educational modernization and develop a strong educational sector that satisfies the people. We should ensure that the younger generations can shoulder the responsibility of rejuvenating the Chinese nation, and that they become morally, intellectually, physically and aesthetically equipped to carry on the cause of socialism.
Young people are the future of China and the hope of our nation. Our Party is committed to developing future generations of capable people – those who support the leadership of the CPC and our socialist system and are determined to devote themselves to the cause of Chinese socialism. We must take a clear stance on this matter of principle. We should work hard on the education of younger generations, beginning with children in schools. It is very important to open courses on political philosophy at primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. This needs to be done in steps, in a gradual way, as a fundamental prop.
Courses on political philosophy are fundamental to building strong moral character. Young people are at a crucial stage of life. Like flowers in budding which need to be watered, they should be carefully guided and educated while they grow up. In our socialist education, it is necessary to educate the students in political philosophy, equip them with the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, guide them to enhance their confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism, and inspire their patriotism. In this way, they are encouraged to serve the country and make it stronger by carrying forward Chinese socialism, advancing socialist modernization and realizing national rejuvenation. Courses on political philosophy play an irreplaceable role in this regard, and teachers of these courses bear a great responsibility.
The Party Central Committee places high value on education. Attaching great importance to education in political philosophy, we have always followed the guiding role of Marxism, and developed a discipline of Chinese socialist system, laying foundation for developing courses on political philosophy. We have developed a deeper understanding of the laws that underlie governance by a communist party, the development of socialism, and the evolution of human society, and have learned to use them wisely. We have opened up a new realm in socialism with Chinese characteristics in both theory and practice, and our achievements have drawn worldwide attention. Our growing confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism has provided strong support for the development of courses on political philosophy. Over the course of several thousand years, the Chinese nation as a whole has developed a profound and outstanding traditional culture. Our Party in particular has forged an advanced socialist culture in the course of revolution, economic development, and reform. These are the engines powering our courses on political philosophy. The successful experiences we have gained and our understanding of the regularity of the course over a long period provide an important basis for us to keep to the right track and facilitate innovation. With these in place, and with our team of trustworthy, respectable and reliable teachers who have the enthusiasm, determination and ability required, we are fully confident that we have what it takes to create better courses on political philosophy.
Teachers are the key to developing these courses, and we should give full rein to their enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity. Teachers of political philosophy should help their students sow the seeds of the true, the good and the beautiful, and guide them how to tie their shoelaces properly before embarking on their journey of life. First, they must have strong political convictions. We should let those who have faith share that faith with others, and they should have acute political awareness and keep a clear head when faced with matters of principle. Second, they should love the country and the people, care about the future of the Chinese nation, and enrich themselves by drawing on the wealth of experience from the practice of the Party and the people in the new era. Third, they should be good thinkers, learn to use dialectical and historical materialism, and be innovative in teaching, so as to let the students have a profound learning experience and guide them towards noble ideals and beliefs and sound ways of thinking. Fourth, they should broaden their vision of knowledge, the world and history. They should be able to explain complicated matters by using examples and through in-depth analyses and comparisons. Fifth, they should exercise strict self-discipline, be consistent in class and out of class, online and offline, advocate the themes of the times, and spread positive energy. Sixth, they should have an upright character, since those who have upright character are attractive to students. They should have integrity and exercise a positive influence on their students. Only if the students relate to their teachers will they believe in what the teachers teach, so the teachers should try to win the students' respect with their profound theoretical knowledge and serve as role models in studies and in life that the students like and admire.
To push reform and innovation in teaching political philosophy, we should give it more theoretical substance and make it more inspirational, appealing and targeted. We must integrate political principles with scientific rationale, responding to students' questions with thorough scientific and academic analysis, convincing them with profound theories, and guiding them with truth. We must integrate values with knowledge, guiding students to embrace the right values while acquiring knowledge. We must be both constructive and critical, advocating mainstream ideology, and confronting all erroneous ideas and trends of thought. We must integrate theory with practice, teaching theory in class, emphasizing practice in society, and encouraging students to have great ideals and work for their goals. We must integrate uniformity with diversity, adopting the same standards in the objectives, curriculum, materials and management of teaching activities, and taking different approaches according to the place, time, and audience. We must integrate teachers' guidance with students' initiative, strengthening research to help students better understand and assimilate political philosophy, and ensuring they play the primary role in learning. We must integrate imparting knowledge with inspiring thinking, guiding students to identify, analyze and dissect problems and draw their own conclusions with help from teachers. We must integrate explicit education with implicit education, and tap into the resources of other courses and methodologies, so as to involve all faculties in integrating education in political philosophy into every aspect of the entire education process.
China's success hinges on our Party. Party committees at all levels should make it a priority to develop courses on political philosophy, focus on the pressing problems hindering the effort, and take effective measures underlined by good planning, team building and support systems. Under the unified leadership of Party committees, Party and government institutions should work together to promote these courses, relevant authorities should do their part, and the whole society should join in the endeavor, so that the Party, society, teachers, and students are all involved and coordinated in their efforts. Party committees at schools must be strict in management and take effective measures. The Party secretaries and presidents of schools should have first-hand experience of courses on political philosophy, take the lead in developing these courses, and work closely with teachers. We should have adequate professionals specializing in teaching political philosophy, with the majority working full-time. We should focus on developing a holistic approach to education in political philosophy at primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning, and bring out its full potential. We should improve the curriculum, ensure coordination between political philosophy and other courses, and encourage eminent teachers from other courses to give lectures on political philosophy. Leading officials of local Party committees and governments should do likewise at schools.
* Main points of the speech at a seminar with teachers of political philosophy.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)