One of the greatest tools for a nation’s propaganda is the education system. Influencing the youth’s perception of the world and its way of thinking is the surest way to invest in future consent and fervor. The Chinese government, for example, is well aware of this. In fact, it makes almost no distinction between education and propaganda or indoctrination. However, some Chinese parents want something different for their children. As a result, more and more of them prefer home-school to public education.
Why Chinese Parents Prefer Home-school
In China education is compulsory for nine years – from six/seven to fifteen. Homeschooling without authorization is therefore banned. In fact, parents who wish to homeschool their children must obtain an official permission from the government. However, this kind of permission is granted only in special cases, mostly connected to medical conditions.
Yet, in 2017 more than 50,000 children were homeschooled – three times more than in 2013. The number, however, is probably higher since some of them do not have permission to homeschool their children, so they do it secretly or avoid mentioning it. As a consequence, in 2017, the Chinese education ministry condemned the practice publicly by declaring it an education system that is inadequate for children’s development. However, this was not enough to stop parents from homeschooling their children.
The reasons why Chinese parents prefer homeschooling to Chinese public education are many. It is possible to pinpoint the three more relevant ones. Many parents wish to save their children from the ideology which the government enforced in schools in order to indoctrinate its future generations. This is often paired with the parents disapproval of the teaching methods of public schools. However, some parents opt for homeschooling to give their children a religious education. In fact, China promotes atheism in schools as well.
However, if the government bans unauthorised homeschooling, then why some many parents are able to practice it?
The Government’s Reaction
The Chinese government does not encourage this practice. However, it is possible that it does not see it yet as a serious threat. Moreover, it has more severe problems to fight agaist, such as fake homeschooling. In fact, some parents send their children to work illegally while making the government think that they are being homeschooled. Parents, however, never let their guard down since the Chinese authorities seem to always keep an eye on them. This year, the education ministry underlined the importance of teaching children in schools to love their country and to be loyalty to the party.