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English out, Xi Jinping Thought in at Shanghai schools

China mixes ideology into educational reform drive

Chinese authorities look to lighten the load on children while keeping them loyal to the Communist Party.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- School children here returning to class next month will be pleased to find that they will no longer need to remember the intricacies of English spelling. But all will not be fun and games: "The Communist Party leads all forms of work in China" may be one of the phrases of President Xi Jinping that they are required to commit to memory.

A new textbook on "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" will be required reading in Shanghai elementary, middle and high schools starting in September, for classes on morality and the rule of law in lower grades and ideology and politics for high schoolers. Students will likely be expected to memorize notable quotes from the president.

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