Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

About Textbooks…

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, April 29, 2007

From time to time I earn a crust by editing books and other publications. I’ve just finished one this week, as it happens. It’s an educational textbook aimed at 18-19 year olds in their last year of Senior High School. Typically, for textbooks, any work that the editors do must be approved by the Propaganda Department, and comments and explanations submitted in Chinese. There is a cover sheet for the publication, on which these comments and what-not are written, and this cover sheet has a short schpiel printed on it, for the benefit of the editors. I quote:

in translation:

Proof-reading comments on recommended textbook for vocational education
– Department of Education for Vocational Education and Adult Education.

References for approving recommended textbook for vocational education:

Political Ideology
1. Ideas should be politically correct, conforming to every policy, strategy, law and regulation of the Party and Nation.
2. The textbook should be embodied with materialist dialectics and historic materialism, should help students to build up correct worldview, lifeview and values.
3. Promote patriotism and nationalism

If it’s an English textbook you should be carefully guard the words, phrases, paragraphs and sentences, particularly the political correctness of the ideas.

And some people back home are surprised when I tell them that Chinese schoolkids are now learning that Japan and Korea will be part of China in 20 years. Good grief!

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