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 A School Managed by Workers and Linked Up With a People's Commune and a P.L.A. Unit

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   In the great proletarian cultural revolution a most important task is to transform the old educational system and the old principles and methods of teaching.
   In this great cultural revolution, the phenomenon of our schools being dominated by bourgeois intellectuals must be completely changed.

- MAO TSE-TUNG


Urban Educational Revolution in Progress

A School Managed by Workers and Linked Up With a People's Commune and a P.L.A. Unit

Source: Peking Review, No. 7, February 14, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

   
   Educational revolution in urban middle and primary schools in various places is developing in depth. The workers' Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda teams and Liberation Army men stationed in the schools, following Chairman Mao's teachings on educational revolution, have been leading the masses of revolutionary teachers and students in actively changing the school system, transforming the principles and methods of teaching and thoroughly putting an end to the phenomenon of the domination of schools by bourgeois intellectuals. New-type schools for training reliable successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat have emerged in all parts of the country. One such school reported on below is a factory-run middle school in Lanchow city of Kansu Province, northwest China, Although it has carried out revolutionary transformation for only four months, it has gained preliminary experience. The practice of educational revolution in Peking, Shanghai, Tientsin and medium-sized and small cities has also proved that the right path is for factories to run schools.—P.R. Editor.
  
THE "May 7" Middle School run by the Lanchow Casting Plant, formerly the No. 5 Middle School in Lanchow city, has an enrolment of more than 1,600 students. A workers' Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda team entered the school in October 1968 and put an end to the situation in which the school was monopolized by bourgeois intellectuals. Following our great leader Chairman Mao's '"'May 7" Directive,1 the propaganda team members organized the teachers and students to do manual labour at the Lanchow Casting Plant and later they took further steps to put the school under the leadership and management of the plant. Furthermore, they linked up the school with a nearby rural people's commune and a P.L.A. unit. After a few months of putting this into practice under the leadership of the working class, the school's revolutionary teachers and students all agreed that it was good for urban middle schools to take the road of schools being run by factories.

How the School Is Run by the Plant

The Working Class Exercises Direct Leadership in the School and Enforces Management by the Revolutionary Three-in-One Combination. Chairman Mao teaches us: "To accomplish the proletarian revolution in education, it is essential to have working class leadership; the masses of workers must take part in this revolution and, in co-operation with Liberation Army fighters, form a revolutionary three-in-one combination with the activists among the students, teachers and workers in schools and colleges, who are determined to carry the proletarian revolution in education through to the end." Acting on Chairman Mao's teaching, the plant's revolutionary committee set up a "three-in-one” leading group for educational revolution, which was composed of members of the workers' Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda team and veteran workers, the Liberation Army men stationed in the school and the revolutionary teachers and students, to exercise direct leadership over the educational revolution in the school. Later on, it gradually strengthened the school's revolutionary committee by appointing the chairman of the plant's revolutionary committee (a revolutionary cadre) to be concurrently the chairman of the school's revolutionary committee, appointing the leader of the workers' Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda team in the school, the responsible comrade in charge of military and political training, and the former chairman of the school's revolutionary committee to be the vice-chairmen of the committee. The plant's revolutionary committee also selected three veteran workers to be members of the schools revolutionary committee. In this way, the school's committee is put entirely under the leadership of the plant's revolutionary committee and unified leadership is effected.

Putting Mao Tse-tung's Thought in Command and Building the School Along Political Line. The plant's revolutionary committee has exerted great efforts to run Mao Tse-tung's thought study classes and has organized the worker masses and revolutionary teachers and students to conscientiously study Chairman Mao's proletarian line on education and incisively criticize and repudiate the renegade, traitor and scab Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist educational line. By learning from the People's Liberation Army, it gives prominence to proletarian politics, perseveres in the "four firsts,"2 carries forward the "three-eight" working style  3 and establishes the political work system. It has abolished the system of personal responsibility by the teacher in charge of the class and, modelling on army formations, has set up squads, platoons and companies. Members of the workers' Mao Tse-tung's thought propaganda team are appointed political instructors of the companies. The plant's revolutionary committee has carried out the movement to create "four-good" companies 4 and "five-good" fighters.5 A check-up on the work in this movement is made every week and a brief summation is made every month.

School Linked Up With a People's Commune and a P.L.A. Unit. The school has made the casting plant its base for learning industrial work and, linking itself up with the nearby Kaolanshan People's Commune, it has established a base for learning farming. It has also attached itself to a company of the People's Liberation Army stationed in the locality, which has sent its commanders and fighters to help run Mao Tse-tung's thought study classes and give military and political training.

   The teachers and students studying in this plant are divided into two classes: one does manual labour in the morning and studies in the afternoon while the other studies in the morning and does manual labour in the afternoon. The two classes each do manual labour for two days (four half days) and each study four days (two whole days and four half days) every week. Attending classes and doing manual labour are carried out alternately with the platoon serving as a unit. Twenty-four hours a week are devoted to studies, 12 of which is for the study of Mao Tse-tung's thought, four hours for the basic course in industry, four hours for revolutionary literature and art, two hours for military and physical training and the remaining two hours to be used flexibly. Manual labour arranged for the students varies according to their age and physical condition. While doing manual work in the factory, teachers and students are assigned to a definite group and a definite shift with a particular worker to instruct them in operating machines, and the method of integrating on-the-spot teaching with classroom teaching is adopted.
   In the countryside, manual work and studies are arranged according to the needs of farm work. In the busy farming season, the teachers and students do manual work for the whole day. As for the contents of curriculums, besides changing the basic course in industry into the basic course in agriculture, other courses are roughly the same as those taken while doing manual work in the factory.
   In this way, a section of the teachers and students works in the countryside while another section works in the factory. Both sections each work for a year alternately in the countryside and the factory. Therefore, "While their main task is to study, they should also learn other things, that is to say, they should not only learn book knowledge, they should also learn industrial production, agricultural production and military affairs. They also should criticize and repudiate the bourgeoisie."

Establishing a Teachers' Contingent With Workers as the Main Body. In accordance with Chairman Mao's great teaching "In the problem of transforming education it is the teachers who are the main problem," the school has selected four veteran workers in the plant to be the full-time teachers, invited 23 workers, 19 poor and lower-middle peasants, two P.L.A. fighters and a technician who has comparatively well integrated himself with the workers to be the part-time teachers. Of the original 59 teachers, 24 have gone with the students to the factory and the countryside to take part in the three great revolutionary movements of class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment. They work and study at the same time. The overwhelming majority of the rest were sent group after group to factories and the countryside to do manual labour in order to be re-educated by the workers, peasants and soldiers and thoroughly change their old ideology.

The Period of Schooling Should Be Shortened. Courses Should Be Fewer and Better. Acting in accordance with Chairman Mao's great teaching "The period of schooling should be shortened. Courses should be fewer and belter," the school changed the six-year school system (three years for senior middle school and three years for junior) into a four-year school system (two years for senior and two years for junior), and was prepared to gradually go over to the system of four years for middle school. In curriculums, the principles of giving prominence to proletarian politics, of linking theory with practice and striving to undertake fewer courses but achieve better results in the student's studies are upheld and the original 17 courses have been reduced and combined into five.
   The course in Mao Tse-tung's thought. The students study Chairman Mao's works and the series of his latest instructions, the history of struggle between the two lines in the Party and the contemporary history of the Chinese revolution. Class education is carried out in the light of the current class struggle.
   Basic course in industry. The students study Chairman Mao's brilliant thinking contained in this quotation: "It is necessary ... to bring about the socialist industrialization of the country" and his great instruction "For industrial enterprises, learn from the Taching Oilfield.” and study the "Constitution of the Anshan Iron and Steel Company."6 Lectures on elementary knowledge in mathematics, physics and chemistry as well as technological processes are closely linked with factory production, and with mechanical, electrical and chemical work.
   Basic course in agriculture. The students of the school study Chairman Mao's brilliant thinking on taking "agriculture as the foundation" and his great instruction "In agriculture, learn from Tachai." Lectures on economic geography, meteorology and biology are given with the "Eight-Point Charter" for agriculture 7 formulated by Chairman Mao as the guide and in the light of the changing farming seasons. Lectures on elementary knowledge in mathematics, physics and chemistry are given in connection with chemical fertilizer, insecticide, measurement of land, water conservancy construction, survey and drawing and agricultural machinery. There are also lessons in rural accounting.
   The course in revolutionary literature and art. In their study of Chairman Mao's thinking on literature and art, the students use Chairman Mao's Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art and his five documents concerning literature and art8 as the basic study material and also study the "Summary of the Forum on the Work in Literature and Art in the Armed Forces With Which Comrade Lin Piao Entrusted Comrade Chiang Ching."9 They also study grammar and practise writing. They carry out various activities in creating works to propagate Mao Tse-tung's thought and eulogize the workers, peasants and soldiers.
   The course in military and physical training. They study Chairman Mao's line in army building and his thinking on people's war and learn the "four firsts" and the "three-eight" working style. They also learn some elementary knowledge of military affairs and receive basic military training, and they take part in physical training.

New Changes Since the Plant Runs the School

The Working Class Has Held All-Round Leadership in the School and Used Mao Tse-tung's Thought to Transform the School and Educate the Teachers and Students. When the bourgeois intellectuals dominated the school, they exercised bourgeois dictatorship, used the bourgeois world outlook to remould the teachers and students and vainly pushed their efforts to train successors to the bourgeoisie. Instead of arranging courses for studying Mao Tse-tung's thought, they even lopped off the groups for studying Chairman Mao's works which the students had organized themselves.

Since the plant took over the management of the school, it has used Mao Tse-tung's thought to command everything, organized all the teachers, students and other staff in the school to creatively study and apply Chairman Mao's works, and seen to it that Mao Tse-tung's thought is the soul in building up the school. One teacher who used to be in charge of a class told a student: "You have a promising future as far as training is concerned. Some day you can become a high-ranking cadre. When you go out, you'll ride in a car. Wherever you go, there will be people to welcome you." The workers now teach the students: "We depend on Mao Tse-tung's thought in making revolution. We should follow Chairman Mao's teachings and serve the people wholeheartedly. The theory of 'studying to become an official' pushed by Liu Shao-chi must be thrown on to the dunghill." Students said with deep feeling: "The workers and poor and lower-middle peasants are most loyal to Chairman Mao. They use Mao Tse-tung's thought to educate us and are our best teachers."

The School's Teachers and Students Have Made the Workers and Peasants Their Teachers, Established Profound Proletarian Feelings Between Themselves and the Workers and Poor and Lower-Middle Peasants, and Strengthened Their Concept of Doing Manual Labour. Teachers and students regard the workers and poor and lower-middle peasants as their best teachers and modestly learn from them. Their proletarian feelings have become increasingly deep. When a student doing manual work accidentally hurt his right hand, a worker bought a new towel, personally sewed it into a mitten and put it on his hand, and let him take a good rest. Unable to remain idle, the student went back to work again and used his other hand to collect many nuts and much waste copper from the waste material pile. A girl student at first was afraid of dirt and toil. After being educated by the poor and lower-middle peasants, she fought self-interest and repudiated revisionism on her own and vied with others to do work that was heavy and dirty. She said: "I am determined to strive to temper myself in this new type of school and become an ordinary labourer." In 1968, 505 graduates from this school went to the countryside to be re-educated by the poor and lower-middle peasants.

The Phenomenon in Which Education Was Divorced From Proletarian Politics, From the Masses of Workers and Peasants and From Practice in Production Has Been Fundamentally Changed. The school is only separated by a hill from the Kaolanshan People's Commune and by a street from the Lanchow Casting Plant, but it had little contact with the plant and the people's commune and turned a blind eye to the class struggle in the factories and in the countryside. Living in big buildings, the students for a long time had no contact with the three great revolutionary struggles in society and their thinking was impractical. When they wrote a composition, they had to cogitate over and over and rack their brains to get some material. What they wrote down were things like travel notes.
   Since the school was placed under the management of the plant, veteran workers, poor and lower-middle peasants, and P.L.A. fighters have constantly been invited to give reports on how to creatively study and apply Mao Tse-tung's thought and on their past sufferings in contrast with the present happiness. The students have also taken a direct part in the struggle against the enemies in the plant and the people's commune, and vigorously denounced the counter-revolutionary revisionist crimes of the big renegade Liu Shao-chi and his agents. As a result, the students' consciousness of classes and of the struggle between the two lines has been rapidly enhanced.
   Lectures on subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology used to be divorced from reality. Though the students learnt about iron making and wheat, they could not recognize iron ore and pulled up wheat seedlings because they had mistaken the seedlings for grass. Now when teachers who are chosen from workers and poor and lower-middle peasants teach basic industrial and agricultural knowledge, they closely link their lectures with production. The students can understand very easily and apply what they learn. For instance, when some of them raised the question of how to differentiate between iron and steel, a college-graduate teacher explained for quite a long time and failed to explain things clearly. Combining his lecture with practice in production, a worker teacher helped the students in one class-hour understand the chemical contents of iron and steel and the basic principles for differentiating between them. The students said: "When we attended classes before, we could neither understand the lectures nor apply what we learnt. Now the workers and poor and lower-middle peasants teach us, we understand their lectures, learn fast, remember well and can apply what we learn."

The Health of the Teachers and Students Has Improved and the Latter Have Been Helped to "Develop Morally, Intellectually and Physically." Too many lessons and onerous burdens under the old teaching system tied the young students down in the classrooms and put them under strain every day, all of which was no good for their health. The eyesight of a section of the students grew worse year after year. After the school was run by the plant, the teachers and students have in varying degrees built up their health through tempering in labour. Four platoons of students once worked nine days in the countryside and many were unable to go on to the end owing to illness. Then, during the 80 days when they learnt farming in the Kaolanshan People's Commune, they constantly persevered in labour and very few got sick. A very weak girl student used to exert extra efforts to go up a mountain. Having been tempered for more than two months, she can make a round trip of more than 15 kilometres pulling a water wheel from the mid-way up a mountain to the top. The teachers and students commented: "It is fine, indeed, for the factories to run schools. This not only has tempered us in becoming ideologically red, but built up our health."

Workers, Peasants and Soldiers All Acclaim the Plant Running the School

   From the time the "May 7" Middle School was run by the plant and established close links with the people's commune and the P.L.A. unit, the broad masses of workers, peasants and soldiers and the revolutionary teachers and students .have all acclaimed: It is fine!

The worker masses consider this arrangement a good method by which the urban middle schools can implement Chairman Mao's "May 7" Directive and the basic guarantee for carrying out Chairman Mao's proletarian line in education. The worker comrades said: "With the schools run by the factories, we, the working class, can hold the leadership in the schools more firmly, train the coming generations according to the working class outlook, and train reliable successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat." They expressed their determination; Since Chairman Mao wants us, the working class, to exercise leadership in the schools, we must live up to Chairman Mao's expectations. As long as we rely on Mao Tse-tung's thought on the one hand and the revolutionary masses on the other and unite with the revolutionary teachers and students, our factories not only can run schools but can certainly run them well!
   The running of schools by factories has been enthusiastically praised by the poor and lower-middle peasants. An elderly poor peasant said: "For city youngsters to come to study in the countryside is something unknown for generations. Previously, when several youngsters in our mountain area went to study in the city, these good young people were all badly educated. Now you have taken the right way. This really is what we poor and lower-middle peasants desire."
   Local P.L.A. fighters praised this new type of school: "As the school is run by the plant and is linked up with both the people's commune and the army company, it follows the road Chairman Mao pointed out in his 'May 7' Directive. We will certainly bring the 'four firsts' and the 'three-eight' working style of the People's Liberation Army to the school."
   The revolutionary teachers and students are even more elated and inspired. They expressed their determination that they must raise high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, and, under the leadership of the working class, receive re-education from the workers, peasants and soldiers, firmly take the road indicated by the "May 7" Directive, thoroughly eliminate the influence of the counter-revolutionary revisionist line in education pushed by Liu Shao-chi, carry the proletarian revolution ,in education through to the end, constantly sum up experience and improve work, and steadily develop and perfect the completely new proletarian educational system, the first ever known in human history.

(Originally published in "Hongqi," No. 2, 1969, translation slightly abridged.)

NOTES

 1. This refers to Chairman Mao's great call to the people throughout the country, which was contained in his letter of May 7, 1966 to Comrade Lin Piao. Chairman Mao called on the people to turn their respective trades and professions into great revolutionized schools engaging in both industry and agriculture, both study and military affairs.
 2. The "four firsts'' are: First place must be given to man in handling the relationship between man and weapons; to political work in handling the relationship between political and other work; to ideological work in relation to routine tusks in political work; and, in ideological work, to the living ideas in a person's mind, as distinguished from ideas in books. That is to say, first place to man, first place to political work, first place to ideological work and first place to living ideas.
 3. The "three-eight"' working style: The Chinese People's Liberation Army, under the leadership of the Communist Party and Chairman Mao, has fostered a fine tradition. This fine tradition is summed up by Chairman Mao in three phrases and eight additional characters, meaning firm, correct political orientation; a plain, hard-working style; flexibility in strategy and tactics; and unity, alertness, earnestness and liveliness.
 4. "Four-good" companies arc companies which are good in political and ideological work, in the "three-eight" working style, in military training and in arranging their everyday life.
 5. "Five-good" fighters arc fighters who excel in political and ideological work, in the "three-eight" working style, in military technique, in fulfilling combat missions, and in keeping fit
   6. The "Constitution of the Anshan Iron and Steel Company" embodies our great leader Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line In guaranteeing that the power in management will be put firmly in the hands of the working class and that socialist enterprises will be run well. Its contents include the following five basic principles: Persevere in putting politics in command; strengthen Party leadership; develop the mass movement In a big way; institute the system under which cadres take part in productive labour, workers lake part in management, Irrational and out-dated rules and regulations arc revised, and leading cadres, workers and technical personnel work in close co-operation; and vigorously carry out the technical revolution.
 7. During the big leap forward In agriculture In 19r?8, Chairman Mao summed up the peasants* experience in increasing production and the experience in agricultural technical Innovation since liberation, and systematically put forward the "Eight-Point Charter" for agriculture. Its contents include: soil (deep ploughing, soil improvement, general survey of soil and land planning), rational application of fertilizer, water (development of water conservancy and rational use of water), popularization of good strains of seed, rational close planting, plant protection and prevention of insect pests and plant diseases, field management, and reform of tools.
 8. These are the five militant documents concerning literature and art written by Chairman Mao between 1944 and 4964. They were published in Peking Review No. 23, 1967.
 9. In February 1966 when there was an acute struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, Comrade Chiang Ching called a forum on the work in literature and art In the armed forces. Holding aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, she led the revolutionary literary and art workers in launching a resolute offensive against the counter-revolutionary revisionist line. This forum holds an extremely important place in the history of the cultural struggle in China. This "Summary" was published in Peking Review, No 23, 1967.
 
Source: Peking Review, No. 7, February 14, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org
  
  
  

 
 
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