Xi Jinping has called for allegiance to the ruling Communist Party from
the country’s colleges and universities, the latest effort by Beijing
to tighten its hold on education.The
government has campaigned against the spread of ‘Western values’ at
universities, and in January officials said the party’s discipline and
anti-graft agency had sent inspectors to monitor teachers for ‘improper’
remarks in class.”
For more, see Michael Martina, “China’s Xi Calls for Universities’ Allegiance to the Communist Party,” Reuters (9 Dec 2016).
Further coverage can also be found at China Digital Times, “Xi Calls on China’s Universities to Be Communist Strongholds” (11 Dec 2016)
REUTERS / Fred Dufour
“Hundreds of Taiwanese activists stormed the Ministry of Education
building in Taipei after midnight on July 31 as anger mounted over the
ministry’s efforts to implement controversial changes to high school
curriculum guidelines and the death by suicide of one of the young
activists the previous day.”
For more, see J. Michael Cole, “After Young Taiwan Activist’s Suicide, Hundreds Storm Education Ministry,” The Diplomat (31 July 2015)
Image: Huang Hsiengo / The Diplomat
“Dozens of Taiwanese students briefly occupied the Ministry of Education
(MOE) in Taipei last night to protest a series of ‘minor’ adjustments
(課綱微調) to school textbooks which activists and academics claim are
Sino-centric and whitewash the authoritarian period in Taiwan’s history.“
For more, see J. Michael Cole, “Taiwanese Students Occupy Education Ministry Over Textbook Controversy,” The Diplomat (24 July 2015)
Image: J. Michael Cole
“China’s Ministry of Education has announced a major reform of the National College Entrance Examination, known as Gaokao. Under the proposed changes, the entry of new students to higher education will no longer be based purely on performance in three major subjects: mathematics, Chinese and English. It will now also take into account other subjects, as well as students’ personal and social character.
These proposed changes, currently being piloted in Shanghai Municipality and Zhejiang Province, are likely to have a big impact on both individual Chinese students and on the country’s education system.”
For more, see John Morgan and Bin Wu, “Why Reforms to China’s College Entrance Exam Are So Revolutionary,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham (19 Jan 2015)
Image Credit: Jessie Wang / Flickr
"Japan’s foreign ministry requested that McGraw-Hill delete a passage containing a reference to comfort women from a text on world history used by high schools in California. The passage says that Japan’s imperial army ‘forcibly recruited, conscripted and dragooned as many as 200,000 women aged 14 to 20’ to serve in military brothels.
But at a meeting with officials from the Japanese consulate in New York, McGraw-Hill refused to change the passage, saying it was ‘based on historical facts,’ according to the Sankei Shimbun.
Watanabe welcomed McGraw-Hill’s refusal to bow to pressure, but said Japanese children risked growing up ignorant of their country’s past.
Censoring textbooks would be devastating for pupils, she said. ‘Children in neighbouring countries know the truth about the Japanese military’s conduct in Asia … only Japanese children would be kept in the dark, but they have the right to learn the facts of history.’”
For the full story, see Justin McCurry, “Japan Urges Publisher to Remove Comfort Women from Textbooks,” The Guardian (15 Jan 2015)
Image credit: Toru Yamanaka / AFP
“The new screening standards proposed by [Japan’s] education minister, Hakubun Shimomura, a longtime advocate for teaching patriotism, require that elementary, junior high and high school textbooks give a ‘balanced picture’ of disputed historical facts.
In an interview, ministry officials said that in practice this would require that textbooks include viewpoints of nationalist scholars on two highly contested historical issues. One is the death toll of the 1937 massacre in Nanking of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers that the Chinese government says stands at 300,000, a figure many Japanese scholars see as grossly exaggerated.
Textbooks would also be required to state that there is still a dispute about whether the Japanese Army played a direct role in forcing so-called comfort women from Korea and elsewhere to provide sex to its soldiers, even though most foreign historians say the brothels could not have been run without the military’s cooperation.”
For more, see Martin Fackler, “In Textbook Fight, Japan Leaders Seek to Recast History,” New York Times (28 December 2013)
Image: Ko Sasaki for the New York Times
“Members of the Wellesley College faculty reacted strongly when word spread that Peking University might fire Prof. Xia Yeliang, a critic of the Chinese government. Professor Xia, an economist, had visited Wellesley over the summer after the college signed a partnership agreement with Peking University.
In September, 130 Wellesley faculty members sent an open letter to Peking University’s president, warning that if Professor Xia was dismissed for his political views, they would seek reconsideration of the partnership. The next month, Professor Xia was fired. Peking University said it was because of his teaching, not his politics, but many at Wellesley doubted that. Still, after much debate, the faculty voted to keep the partnership, as the college president preferred.”
For more, see Tamar Levin, “U.S. Colleges Finding Ideals Tested Abroad,” New York Times (11 Dec 2013)
Image: Prof. Xia Yeliang; Adam Dean for NY Times