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China eyes traditional cultural education

(Xinhua)

11:24, October 13, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Primary school students may not fully understand the Confucian works they are reciting, but the works are a big part of China's pilot efforts to promote traditional Chinese cultural education among the country's youth.

Students at a primary school in Beijing's Tongzhou District receive lessons once a week on Chinese culture, with topics ranging from ancient Chinese classics to jade and porcelain appreciation.

Their teachers believe that although the kids cannot comprehend the profound meaning of the works at present, the classes will promote their cultural literacy in the long run.

A set of teaching materials on traditional Chinese culture for primary, middle and high school students was unveiled by People's Education Press last month.

The textbooks, which already have been put into trial use in schools in Tongzhou and five other areas, may expand to more regions as China aims to strengthen its soft power, according to one of the compilers.

"We have arranged and adapted the materials in accordance with the students' ages and learning capabilities, adding more moral content and traditional aesthetic education," said Zhang Jian, executive director of a research group that compiled the materials.

The materials focus on traditional Chinese classics like the Analects of Confucius, a Confucian masterpiece, the Art of War, an ancient Chinese book on military strategy, and the classic Taoist work, the Tao Te Ching.

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