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 "Learning Industrial Production" in a City Middle School

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The same holds good for the students too. 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. The length of schooling should be shortened, education should be revolutionized, and the domination of our schools and colleges by bourgeois intellectuals should not be tolerated any longer.

-MAO TSETUNG


Revolution in Education Guided by Chairman Mao's May 7 Directive


"Learning Industrial Production" in a City Middle School

by Our Correspondent

Source: Peking Review, No. 21, May 22, 1970
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


    THE No. 22 Middle School is an ordinary middle school in the city of Sian. In carrying out proletarian revolution in education, the workers' Mao Tsetung Thought propaganda team and the school's revolutionary committee led the revolutionary teachers and students in implementing Chairman Mao's May 7 Directive and unfolding the activities of "learning industrial production." In the course of working together with the workers and learning from the working class, the revolutionary teachers and students have been much tempered and their mental outlook has changed remarkably.

Training Reliable Successors to the Revolution

  Tempered through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the revolutionary teachers and students of this school have boundless love for Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line. They have come to the profound understanding that it is necessary to train and bring up millions of reliable successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat in order to safeguard our socialist state from changing its political colour, avoid the emergence of revisionism and prevent a capitalist restoration. During the struggle-criticism-transformation at the school, the revolutionary teacher:- and students, led by the workers' Mao Tsetung Thought propaganda team and the school's revolutionary committee, conscientiously studied our great leader Chairman Mao's teachings concerning the revolution in education and scathingly criticized the arch renegade-Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line in education. This has greatly raised their political awareness and their consciousness of carrying out Chairman Mao's proletarian line in education. The capitalist roaders at the school pushed Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line in education, feverishly advocating the revisionist trash of "putting intellectual training first" and "pulling school marks in command" with the result that the students pored over books all day long in pursuit of personal fame and gain. The students thus trained became divorced from politics and practice. They lacked the feelings of the workers and peasants and did not know how to serve the people. Such young people are not the seeds of the revolution but the seeds of revisionism. Hitting the nail on the head, a student's parent, who is a worker, remarked; You are training students to be experts in one field or another, but they won't be members of the working class family!
  Through revolutionary mass criticism, the teachers have deeply recognized that as revolutionary teachers their duty is by no means solely to instil cultural knowledge into the minds of the students, but that they must act according to Chairman Mao's teaching that "education must serve proletarian politics and be combined with productive labour" and train students so that each can "develop morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture."
  In October 1968, a workers’ Mao Tsetung Thought propaganda team entered the school. Under its leadership and following Chairman Mao's teaching in his May 7 Directive "While their main task is to study, they [the students] 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," the revolutionary teachers and students began, in March 1909, their activities of "learning industrial production" in the nearby factories. In the past year, all students in the first grade went to a factory where they stayed for one month "learning industrial production." Students in higher grades went to the factories twice and remained there for two months. They were accompanied by their teachers.
  The workers warmly welcomed the arrival of the teachers and students at their factories. "The arrangement for teachers and students to go to the factories," the workers said, "is a revolutionary action in implementing Chairman Mao's May 7 Directive and an important aspect in carrying out the proletarian revolution in education. We must train the students into successors to the revolutionary cause in the image of the proletariat so that the imperialists' dream of pinning their hopes for a capitalist restoration on the third or fourth generation of our Party will never come true."
  An educational revolution group, composed of one leading member of the revolutionary committee of the Sian No. 2 Silk Mill, several outstanding veteran workers and representatives of the workers' propaganda team and of teachers and students, was formed to lead the activities of "learning industrial production." The group stipulated that in "learning industrial production," the students should have the following aims:
  To learn from the working class its boundless loyally to Chairman Mao, to Mao Tsetung Thought and to Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, as well as its noble qualities;
  To foster the proletarian world outlook of serving the workers, peasants and soldiers wholly and entirely;
  In the process of working in the factory, to acquire a level of ability in certain production skills, increase their perceptual knowledge o socialist construction and raise it to rational knowledge; and do away with the phenomenon prevalent in the old schools of the separation of theory from practice.

Cultivating Proletarian Thoughts and Feelings Through "Learning Industrial Production"

  By "learning industrial production" we mean, first of ail, learning what the working class thinks and feels, as well as its noble qualities. The factory is the frontline of the three great revolutionary movements — class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment. In factories, the teachers and students work, study and live together with the workers, and gradually remould themselves in conformity with the proletarian world outlook.
  The students who participate in "learning industrial production" are all teenagers. Although born in the now society and being brought up under the red flag, they lack personal experience with regard to the meaning of "classes" and "exploitation" and therefore have but a rather vague idea of class struggle. It is necessary to conduct class education among them in order to help them understand why there is the need lo make revolution and to raise their consciousness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines. After one group arrived at the Sian No. 2 Silk Mill, a veteran worker first of all gave them a report on his sufferings in the old society and described the happy life he is now living in New China.
  Wang Szu-fu, a machine-repair worker, related to the students the history of his family's great misery as a result of ruthless landlord exploitation in the old society and how his parents, driven by a hard life, with great distress, were compelled to sell his younger brother. Wang had been exploited by a capitalist since he became a worker in a factory at the age of 14. He toiled at backbreaking labour for well over ten hours a day. In addition, he was often beaten, abused and subjected to endless hardships and insults. Some of his brother co-workers, having endured intense suffering, died of illness. In those days, the workers waged heroic struggles for their emancipation. Worker Wang said: "It's due to Chairman Mao's leadership that New China has come into existence, that we workers have been liberated and become masters of the country. After you young people have learnt how we suffered in the old society, you should treasure today's happiness."
  The old worker's bitter denunciation of the old society aroused profound proletarian feelings among the students. They realized why they should bitterly hate the old society, the landlords and the capitalists who had exploited and oppressed the working people, and that they should love New China and the industrious and brave working class. They began to understand the great truth that "without knowing what classes are and without knowing what exploitation is, we will not be able to understand revolution." They resolved to learn in earnest in order to defend the fruits of the revolution.
  In the factories, the teachers and students studied Chairman Mao's works together with the workers, criticized revisionism, organized meetings to exchange experiences in their living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought, held heart-to-heart talks to solve their ideological problems. These activities led them to the deep realization that the working class is most loyal to Chairman Mao, that it has achieved very fruitful results from their study of Chairman Mao's writings and is applying what it has learnt in a most living way. They witnessed how the workers, in their study of Mao Tsetung Thought, strove hard to apply what they had learnt.

  Veteran worker Hsieh Tseng-chi, a Communist Party member and activist in the study of Chairman Mao's works, was once a skilled textile worker. Now, following his transfer, he was working as a cook. In telling the students about his experience in the living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought and how he used the brilliant "three constantly read articles" as maxims, he stated: "Chairman Mao has taught us that we should serve the people wholly and entirely. Like Chang Szu-teh, we should undertake any work that is required by the revolution; we should show the spirit of utter devotion to others without any thought of, self, as did Norman Bethune. Since kitchen work is needed by the Party and the people, I should do it well, cheerfully and enthusiastically." Because Hsieh did work very hard and handled his cooking assignment well, he was highly praised by the workers. With worker Hsieh as their example, the students courageously fought selfish ideas in the light of Chairman Mao's teachings. One student observed: "Worker Hsieh is selfless, he works in compliance with the needs of the revolution whereas I, in the course of 'learning industrial production,* try to master more techniques and increase my ability for a selfish purpose. This is exactly the manifestation Chairman Mao has criticized in these words 'At every turn they think of themselves before others.' When one is infected with such an idea, one cannot serve the people whole-heartedly." With this recognition, he and other students studied Chairman Mao's works even more conscientiously, engaged in fighting self and criticizing revisionism and set strict demands on themselves in everything they tackled. During   their   "learning industrial production" they worked cheerfully at the dyeing machine, silk looms and other machines. Their common opinion was: "Although we arc doing many different kinds of work for the revolution, we arc serving the people; though we are young, we can also make contributions to building socialism. How proud we are to do our bit at this task!"
Through working and living with the workers, the revolutionary teachers and students of this school have acquired a profound understanding of Chairman Mao's brilliant thesis that "the working class ... is most far-sighted, most selfless and most thoroughly revolutionary."

A new boiler was recently installed in the dyeing house. In order to put it into operation ahead of time, veteran worker Hsu Hai-hsiang, taking off his cotton-padded jacket, went into the boiler and busied himself with the welding of the blast inlet.  His spirit of fearing neither dirt nor fatigue and engaging in selfless labour deeply moved the students. On one occasion the water-pipes in the boiler-room burst, flooding it with water. Without a moment's hesitation, the students joined the workers as they waded into the water to quickly drain it off.
  Some students studied the technique of doffing. When they joined broken thread ends, they often threw away the particles of silk they had pulled off. An alert old worker walked around and picked up the discarded silk bit by bit. With feeling he said: "Practising frugality and economy is the duty of the working class. We must make every inch of silk serve socialist construction and the world revolution." This taught the students an important lesson. Thereafter they paid close attention to practising economy and taking good care of state property.
  Through such words and deeds, the students learnt many noble qualities from the workers and they developed deep feelings for the workers. They earnestly understood the truth of Chairman Mao*s teaching: "The proletariat is the greatest class in the history of mankind." They determined to remould themselves according to the image of the working class and pledged to become successors to the proletariat and dedicate their lives to the revolution.


Doing Well in Socialist Cultural Courses While "Learning Industrial Production"

While they were "learning industrial production,' the students devoted half a day to manual labour and the other half to attending some educational classes dealing with the actual needs of the factory. The workshops became their classrooms and the workers were invited to serve as teachers. Compared with their former classes in middle school, these educational classes have the distinguishing features of giving prominence to proletarian politics, integrating theory with practice, and study for the purpose of application, thus thoroughly reforming the old educational system under which students were trained divorced from politics and practice, and from the workers and peasants.
  The students of the third grade, after hearing a report by a worker who recalled his bitter past and contrasted it with his present happiness, studied in their Chinese language class the subject: — "Who Was Responsible for My Nine Amputated Fingers?" — which detailed the ruthless exploitation of an old worker in Tientsin by the capitalists in the old society. In the company of an old worker who had bitter and deep-seated hatred for the old society, they received a particularly profound education while studying this lesson, strengthening even more their love and respect for the working class. After class, many students went to call on other such old workers, took notes on their bitter accounts and wrote them up in the form of family histories. This is a new lesson in writing articles.
  The students of the third grade had a lesson in chemistry on bleaching and dyeing. First of all, an old bleacher and dyer named Hou Chen-tsai was asked to mount the platform from which he, filled with profound proletarian feelings, angrily denounced the old society in which the bleaching and dyeing workers led a miserable life. In those days, worker Hou and his mates engaged in backbrcaking labour under very bad conditions. In winter, the water in the dyeing vats froze and the workers had to break the ice before they could get to and later dye the threads. Their hands cracked and were burnt by the acid, causing them great pain. Despite such hard work, they could not earn enough to feed themselves throughout the year. Comparing the past with today, worker Hou explained: "We are now working under entirely different conditions. We are provided with central heating in winter and electric fans in summer. The state gives us rubber gloves, boots, aprons and many other articles of protective clothing. We arc developing production for the revolution and we feel this to be a great honour and happiness."
  Then, worker Hou began his lecture on the process involved in bleaching thread, with which the students, through manual labour, have already become quite familiar, and he proceeded to explain one chemical reaction after another. Next, the factory's laboratory worker and the teachers made a theoretical analysis of these phenomena, gave a concrete explanation of such principles as oxidization, reduction and neutralization and later they demonstrated an experiment.
  Finally, worker Hou returned to the achievements scored by workers of the bleaching and dyeing workshop in making new machines through technical innovations. He had never had a chance to go to school in the old society. he remarked, and although he had acquired soma knowledge after liberal Ion. he still ran into difficulties in undertaking technical innovations and creating greater wealth for the state. So he encouraged the students to strive hard to master scientific and cultural knowledge so as to make still greater contributions to socialist construction.
  Afterwards, the students reflected that throughout the class the workers had h-ld high the red banner of Mao Tsetung Thought because the lessons they gave were in both socialist culture and class struggle.
The students of the second grade had their physics lesson on electricity which took them IB hours. The class began with electric worker Liu Hai-ming's description of the extreme backwardness of the city's power industry before liberation. At that time, electric lamps in Sian were dim and the telephone system was defective. There was only one power plant and it. too. was in the hands of the bureaucrat-capitalists. Liu Hai-ming then proceeded to talk about the rapid development of China's power and electric appliances industries since the founding of New China. "The Chinese working class," he said, "produced in only 150 days last year a 125.000 kilowatt steam turbo-generating set with inner water-cooled stator and rotor, the first of its kind in the world. The tremendous achievements in our socialist construction are rooted in invincible Mao Tsetung Thought."
   This lesson on electricity broke with the old practice of usually taking electrostatics and direct current as the main content. Now stress is placed on the principles and application of the alternating current, involving commonplace, daily usage. During the class, worker Liu first gave a general picture of the lighting and power circuit of the mill, explaining as he demonstrated. The students observed his operations and they themselves engaged in practice.
   Another major aspect of the lesson on electricity was dismantling and assembly of three-phased induction motor. The lecture proceeded in the same fashion as that on the circuit, and was based on the actual conditions of the factory. Explanation and operation were conducted simultaneously until the students acquired an initial mastery of the method of operation and maintenance.
   On this basis, the teachers of the school explained the basic idea of electricity and the laws concerning electric current.
   The students welcomed such lessons in physics and declared: "In our class, we learnt theory and engaged in practice, so we were enabled to apply what we have learnt!"
   A group of lecturers, composed of more than 30 outstanding workers, was formed in the course of "learning industrial production." The workers lectured at both the factory and the school. They said: "We workers not only have to dye and weave silk but what is more, we have to shoulder the glorious historic mission of training successors to the revolution and give leadership to the proletarian revolution in education.",

* * *

   The proletarian educational revolution in Sian No. 22 Middle School is developing in depth. The splendid achievements they have scored in the "learning Industrial production" movement are only the preliminary results of exploration and practice. The workers and the school's proletarian revolutionaries are determined to follow our great leader Chairman Mao's May 7 Directive to carry the proletarian revolution in education through to the end and train more workers "with both socialist consciousness and culture" for the state.


Source: Peking Review, No. 21, May 22, 1970
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


  
  
  

 
 
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