Author: wenbolingsource: the fireworks world of wenboling (ID: wenboling2020)
“I have always been a teacher, and I am still a teacher.”
The historical process of Chinese education is sinking.
In the Zhou Dynasty, the system of “fiefdom and nation building” was used to seal the clans and meritorious officials of Zhou Tianzi to various places for nation building. On the one hand, the territory of Zhou Dynasty was expanded by armed colonization, and on the other hand, the mountains and rivers were occupied to defend Zhou Tianzi.
These separated clansmen and meritorious officials were later princes.
According to the theory of “fiefdom and nation building” in the Zhou Dynasty, the land ownership of the vassals is the property of the monarch, and the economic crops produced by the land are also the property of the monarch. Therefore, the capital of the vassals is the political and economic center of a country.
Since princes and monarchs monopolize political power and economic power, it is natural that they monopolize educational power.
They gathered knowledgeable people into the palace, appointed officials, and their descendants inherited them from generation to generation. As a result, knowledgeable people have knowledge from generation to generation, and people with political and economic power have received education from generation to generation.
This is the system of “no distinction between officials and teachers” in the Zhou Dynasty.
Officials are teachers, and teachers are officials. Official positions and knowledge always circulate in small circles, and have nothing to do with the common people at the bottom. The Zhou Dynasty has been like this for hundreds of years.
But things always change.
With the “eastward movement of King Ping of Zhou” as the starting point, China entered the turbulent times of the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, which lasted for more than 500 years.
The vassal states attacked and merged with each other, and countless vassal states dissipated in history. Those nobles who monopolized official positions and knowledge also lost their objects of attachment and gradually drifted to the folk. They either lived in seclusion in the mountains and forests to teach disciples, or relied on their professional knowledge to send resumes everywhere to find jobs.
At this point, the system of “no distinction between officials and teachers” disintegrated. For the first time in Chinese history, education opened its door to the people at the bottom,
The common people at the bottom also have the right to receive education and the opportunity to change their fate.
With the continuous sinking of education, knowledge spread more and more widely among the people. Finally, it took two hundred years to complete the transition from quantitative change to qualitative change. The land of China continues to see the integrators of all kinds of knowledge, which will be called “hundreds of schools of thought” by later generations.
According to Feng Youlan’s textual research, Confucianism comes from people who teach rites and music, chivalrous men come from military experts, alchemists come from people who practice medicine and fortune telling, Legalists come from politicians in vassal states, and those who are the epitome are Confucius, Mozi, Shang Yang, Lao Tzu, and so on.
After becoming famous, they taught their knowledge and experience to many disciples.
Because Confucius’ educational purpose is to teach all without distinction, and Confucianism has become the guiding ideology of all dynasties in China, Confucius is known as the supreme sage.
It can be said that the shining age of stars that has affected China for two thousand years is directly caused by the sinking of education to the bottom of the common people.
Two thousand years later, education sank to the bottom of the people again, which was promoted by Mao Zedong.
As early as April 1942, Mao Zedong wrote an inscription on the activities to commemorate children’s Day: “children unite and learn to be the new masters of new China.”
Nine years later, on the eve of the national day, Mao Zedong received the Anhui delegation participating in the national day.
A member of the Anhui delegation had a child named Ma Maojie. She participated in the commando during the river crossing campaign. She crossed the Yangtze River six times without fear of bullets and bullets. She helped the commando transport three groups of PLA soldiers across the river. She was a nationally famous hero crossing the river.
This time when the delegation came to Beijing, Mao Zedong personally met sister Ma Mao and gave her a notebook with eight words written by Mao Zedong on the front page:
“Study hard and make progress every day.”
These two inscriptions, both of which were well-known throughout the country soon after, represented Mao Zedong’s expectations for the new youth of new China.
However, these two inscriptions still have the color of humanistic care, and Mao Zedong’s speech in the Soviet Union in 1957 is Mao Zedong’s political expectations for the new youth of new China.
In November 1957, he went to Moscow to attend the Congress of the world communist party and the workers’ party, and was ready to work with Khrushchev to eliminate the ideological confusion caused by Khrushchev’s “secret report”.
That meeting was a good one. Mao Zedong did a lot of work for the unity of the socialist camp.
During the conference, he went to the auditorium of Moscow University to meet the representatives of Chinese students studying in the Soviet Union, and then made that famous speech: “the world is yours and ours, but in the final analysis, it is yours, and I hope it is pinned on you.”
Chinese people know this paragraph, but not many people know the following words.
Mao Zedong said:
“Now the world is changing. Either the west wind overwhelms the east wind or the east wind overwhelms the west wind.”
“When we were your age, we didn’t know anything. Where did we know Marx, Engels and Lenin? At that time, we only knew Napoleon. You now know more than we did at that time. You already know who Marx, Engels and Khrushchev are.”
“People are not immortal. Who lived two thousand years ago has lived to this day? People are constantly born and die, from generation to generation. This is the Marxist point of view. So I say, in the final analysis, you should bear this burden, not me, because I am the sun at four or five o’clock in the afternoon.”
Finally, Mao Zedong said with emotion that seventy years of life are rare in ancient times. In seventy-three and eighty-four, the king of hell did not invite him to go. How can there be a long live? I plan to live for another ten years and strive for 15 years.
When making this speech, Mao Zedong was full of optimism for the future and placed high political hopes on the new youth of new China – we are old and our cause needs your inheritance.
He said it was for students studying in Suzhou, and also for teenagers all over the country.
To train the young people of new China, we must let education sink, let Chinese young people receive education as much as possible, let them know why to read, and then change their destiny.
Mao Zedong’s principle of running education is fairness, popularization and politics.
On June 11, 1952, the Beijing Municipal Party committee reported to the North China Bureau that at present, the cost of primary and secondary school students attending school is quite heavy for working people’s families, and the standard of financial aid in secondary schools is low and the number of places is small, and there is no financial aid in primary schools.
The key point is that the treatment of students in schools for Cadres’ children is inconsistent, either because the standards of food expenses and subsidies are different between schools, or because there are differences between big stoves and small stoves in schools.
The fundamental reason for these differences is that cadres and working people are treated differently, and that cadres have different levels and treatments.
When this report reached Mao Zedong’s desk, he immediately gave instructions to Premier Zhou:
“(1) if possible, all private primary and secondary schools should be taken over. (2) schools for the children of cadres should be given uniform treatment in the first step and should not be further graded. The second step is to abolish such aristocratic schools and integrate them with the children of the people. Please do as you like.”
Then Premier Zhou visited Beijing 101 middle school, calling on the children of cadres and working people to study together, not to be special, and warning them not to be divorced from the masses and become idle children of the eight banners.
After this rectification, schools for Cadres’ children in all parts of the country have gradually become civilian. No matter what families the students come from, at least there is not much difference in treatment.
Moreover, with Mao Zedong’s education equity policy, the price of many materials for primary and secondary school students is also controlled within the range that the children of the working people can bear.
One party recalled that when he was a student in the 1960s, he said that the price of milk at the gate of the school canteen was 15 cents per bottle of fresh milk, 20 cents per bottle of yogurt, a quarter of sugar, a third of soymilk, and a fifth of syrup. Every student can buy it without tickets or certificates.
At that time, the monthly salary of ordinary workers in the city was 40 yuan. If they were willing to give their children milk and soy milk, they could still afford it.
This is Mao Zedong’s fair education.
Popularization is to run education in villages and towns.
According to the statistics at that time, in 1953, the number of primary school graduates was 2.93 million, the number of junior high school students was 820000, the number of junior high school graduates was 400000, and the number of high school students was 160000. Behind this data is the insufficient number of primary and secondary schools, and a large number of students were not enrolled by schools after graduation.
On the one hand, there are not enough teachers and on the other hand, there is not enough funds from the central government.
In order to popularize education and enable Chinese children to go to school, Mao Zedong decided in 1957 to break the policy of contracting primary and secondary schools by the state, encourage streets, factories, mines and communes to run schools independently, and allow private schools if overseas Chinese want to run schools.
After only five years, Mao Zedong overturned his decision to “take over private primary and secondary schools” and delegated the power of education to the grass-roots level.
All this is for universal education.
He does not feel that it is humiliating to overturn his decision, nor does he think that the state must do everything. As long as it is realistic and beneficial to the people, he can adjust it at any time.
When he made this decision, it was basically synchronized with the great leap forward, so he used the mobilized people’s strength to popularize education in villages and towns.
With Mao Zedong’s call and mobilization, streets and communes squeezed funds from their meagre finances, and primary and secondary schools rose one after another, giving Chinese teenagers a place to study.
As for teachers, Mao Zedong also gave instructions: “if there are not enough teachers in rural areas, they should be transferred from cities. Teachers in urban and rural areas should be balanced.”
Later, as a batch of educated youth went to the countryside, there was abundant cultural labor in the countryside. A considerable number of educated youth filled the lack of rural teachers and transferred the urban culture to the countryside.
By the mid-1960s, the number of students enrolled in primary schools had reached 33 million, the number of students enrolled in junior high schools had reached 3 million, and the number of students enrolled in senior high schools had exceeded 1 million, a five to ten fold increase compared with the early days of the founding of new China.
Ten years after Mao Zedong’s death, China has trained 62.85 million high school graduates, 185 million junior high school graduates, 7.2 million technical secondary school graduates, and 4.11 million professionals of all kinds, totaling more than 260 million.
And these young people who have received basic education happen to be China’s reform and opening up when they grow up. As knowledgeable and educated labor, they are the cornerstone of China’s take-off in the next 40 years.
In addition, those adult Chinese are not suitable for reading all day. Mao Zedong promoted the literacy campaign.
Cities have set up literacy night schools, factories have workshop schools, women have Kangtou learning groups, rural areas have winter learning and field learning groups, and even military soldiers have to learn Chinese characters after training. In the warm learning atmosphere of the country, by 1953, 1 million people had been literate in cities and 3.08 million in rural areas.
By 1958, 22 million people had graduated from illiteracy, of which 1.6 million had graduated from junior high school, and illiteracy among young and middle-aged people had been eliminated in one quarter of the counties.
This is Mao Zedong’s popularization of education.
To meet Mao Zedong’s expectations in his speech in the Soviet Union, education still needs to talk about politics.
Also in 1958, Mao Zedong put forward the call that “education must serve proletarian politics”. Otherwise, the students trained by the school will not have proletarian values, or they will not be able to withstand the attack of sugar coated bullets, and the red rivers and mountains are in danger of changing their colors.
There are two specific methods.
One is to add political lessons in the classroom, so that students can have basic political views and know where they come from and who they will serve in the future.
The second is the combination of education and labor, that is, the knowledge of working people and the labor of intellectuals.
If the working people don’t learn knowledge, they can’t arm their minds and protect their interests. If the intellectuals don’t participate in labor, they will easily get divorced from reality and say things like “rent out their spare houses”.
So Mao Zedong drafted a document, requiring all schools with conditions to run factories or farms, and to produce in their spare time, so that students can see how crops grow, how factories operate, and how commodity exchanges are completed.
Schools that do not have the conditions to run factories and farms can work and study part-time.
Part time work and part-time study means that after completing teaching tasks, teachers and students go to nearby factories and farms to eat, live and work with workers and farmers. This can not only let teachers and students receive practical training from workers and farmers, but also improve the cultural quality of workers and farmers through exchanges.
Two way to yes.
If the school can’t run factories and farms, and there is no relevant unit nearby, Mao Zedong suggested that teachers and students “work and study for a while”, that is, after junior high school and high school students graduate, they should work in factories, rural areas, shops and companies for a period of time, and then go back to study after they have work experience.
This learning work learning model is in line with the philosophy of “from practice to practice”.
These are the methods of political education.
After many years of work and education, the students have acquired the basic position of the proletariat, mastered the basic viewpoints of Marxism, have real working experience of workers and peasants, and have the proletarian attribute physically and ideologically.
When they enter society, they will be China’s most solid foundation.
In the past 30 years, China has been able to resist the color revolution and come through the turbulent international environment. The young students trained by Mao Zedong owe a lot to it.
Every progress in China and even in human history comes from the sinking of education.
Only by receiving education can the lowest common people have the chance to change their fate. With a large educated population base, there is the probability that stars will shine in the world.
Whether it is a hundred schools of thought or leaders in various industries in modern China, they all conform to this law.
What is different is that a hundred schools of thought are the objective result of the turbulence in the world, and the vigorous promotion of education sinking in New China is the result of Mao Zedong’s subjective efforts.
Confucius has the dual identity of a master of Confucianism and an educator without distinction, and is called the most holy teacher by later generations. Mao Zedong has the dual identity of the founder of Mao Zedong Thought and the promoter of education. It is not too much to call him a “teacher”.
And he also said he was a teacher.
When Mao Zedong met snow on December 18, 1970, he said:
“For example, the four great and annoying ones will all be removed one day. There is only one teacher left, that is, a teacher. Because I have always been a teacher, and now I am still a teacher. All the others will resign.”
There are thousands of willows in the spring breeze, and 600 million people in China do their best to Shun and Yao. This is Mao Zedong’s greatest ideal as a teacher.
I’d like to take this article to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the death of Chairman Mao Zedong and the teachers’ day in 2022.