China drafts new rules to ensure foreign teachers protect national ‘honour’

Jul 26, 2020 by

The new policy was drafted amid demands for greater ideological control in China under President Xi Jinping, said Suisheng Zhao, a scholar of education in China

China is sweeping foreigners into its demands for political conformity with a draft policy for international teachers that mandates ideological training sessions, prescribes a new tracking system to monitor conduct and threatens to punish those accused of damaging the country’s dignity.

The draft policy, released Tuesday for a month of comment, formalizes expectations for foreign teachers who work in China, many of whom have already been instructed to avoid classroom discussion of subjects the Chinese Communist Party considers sensitive – forbidden topics that include the Tiananmen Square massacre, the status of Taiwan and the mass incarceration of Uyghurs.

In doing so, education authorities have made clear new political oversight requirements for international schools in China, where dozens of institutions are backed by Canadian provinces.

Education is an important component of Canadian trade with China and a key sector for foreign passport holders in the country; between 30 and 40 per cent of the international work force in China is employed in education, according to China Services International, a state-backed foreign recruitment firm.

The new policy was drafted amid demands for greater ideological control in China under President Xi Jinping, said Suisheng Zhao, a scholar of education in China and the director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at the University of Denver. China’s leadership wants to ensure that the education system “follows the party line and does not allow Western liberal ideas to penetrate,” he said.

A new policy for foreign teachers has been under development for more than a year and could be enacted before school resumes in September, according to Wang Yushi, the Minister of International Education for China Services International.

Source: China drafts new rules to ensure foreign teachers protect national ‘honour’ – The Globe and Mail

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