Wearing Red Army uniforms, students from a primary school in Huaying city, Sichuan province, experience the Red Army's Long March by climbing a steep hill. (Qiu Haiying/Xinhua)
New measures are helping maintain love of country in the modern world
The past few years have witnessed changes in the education system aimed at further raising awareness of patriotism among young Chinese.
The National Anthem Law, approved in September by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, states that the national anthem should be played and sung at primary and middle schools nationwide.
"Schools should regard the national anthem as an important part of patriotic education for students," according to the law, which came into force on Oct 1. "They are obliged to teach students to sing the anthem, learn its history and the spirit it reflects and obey the etiquette of singing it."
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Education urged education departments across the country to revise textbooks for primary and middle schools by extending the duration of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression to 14 years (1931-45) from eight (1937-45).
The move was intended to not only uphold the spirit of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and China's struggle against the Japanese, which fell in September 2015, but also to strengthen patriotic education for the younger generation by allowing them to understand the history in a profound, all-around way, the ministry said.
Lyu Liangqiong, director of the student affairs office at the Shengli Experimental School in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, who is responsible for designing the related curriculum and organizing activities for the students, has noticed the changes and the growing emphasis on patriotic education.
"China has changed so much during recent years and is growing more influential in the world, so I think it's necessary to conduct patriotic education among young people, which will deepen their love for the country on the basis of better knowing and understanding," she said.
According to Lyu, patriotic education at her school started becoming regular and systematic in 2009, when construction of the campus was completed and the school decided to weave the content of such education into school activities.
"For example, we bring students to historical places during the annual spring outings. Before setting out, we give lectures about the background information; while there, we guide students to listen to stories told by the descendants of revolutionary martyrs at those places. After they return, we ask them to generate and deliver work - a short article, an exhibition board or other forms," she said.
"In the past, the spring event was purely an outing and just about having fun."
Efforts to boost patriotic education made by the authorities of the People's Republic of China can be dated back at least 35 years, when the country's constitution, passed in 1982, stated that Chinese citizens should "love the country and the people ... and receive education about patriotism, collectivism, internationalism and communism".