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Traditional Chinese medicine introduced to elementary school curriculum in Zhejiang

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    18:29, September 13, 2017

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Fifth-grade students in elementary schools of eastern China’s Zhejiang province will learn traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) starting from this semester, Qianjiang Evening News reported on Tuesday.

Zhejiang is the first and only province in China that has introduced TCM to the curriculum of elementary schools.

The innovation has triggered heated debate among Chinese netizens. Parents in favor of the act believe that TCM is a treasure of Chinese culture and it will benefit the children by helping them develop a healthy lifestyle. However, some parents hold a different opinion, saying that TCM is totally beyond the young students’ ability to comprehend.

“We parents care more about the actual effect of the course,” said a man surnamed Wang, adding that it might be eliminated because students usually have a very tight schedule especially at this grade.

According to Fang Jianqiao, the chief editor of the TCM textbook, the proposal to incorporate TCM into the curriculum of elementary and middle schools was raised by a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in 2011.

Fang believes that TCM has made unique contribution to China’s 5,000-year history. Before western medicine entered China around 100 years ago, TCM provided the major therapeutic approaches, and Chinese people should be proud of it, he added.

In addition, China has laid great importance on the development of TCM at the national level. According to the Outline of the Strategic Plan on the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2016-2030) issued by the State Council last year, TCM should be widely promoted on campuses and in communities, villages, and families.

The textbook is specifically designed for 5th-grade-level students, Fang said. “We have invited Chinese teachers to examine it to ensure that the textbook is readable,” he explained.

Fang also slammed those who doubt the reliability of TCM, saying that it’s not scientific for them to belittle the discipline when they themselves don’t understand the discipline.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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