Chongqing University Students to Once Again Learn from Workers, Peasants and Soldiers

By Zhang Chao
Published: 2010-11-11

Officals from Chongqing, a large urban hub in China's southwest region, unveiled a new initative that will require the city's 700,000 plus university students to engage in community service activities (社会实践活动 shèhuì shíjiàn huódòng) on Tuesday.

Some of the activities are reminiscent of the "Down to the Countryside" movement that saw "educated youth" sent to work in rural areas in order to learn from the peasants during the Cultural Revolution.

According to a report in yesterday's Chongqing Evening News, the government and the party committee of Chongqing Municipality held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the new initiative. At the press conference they announced that all university students would be required to partake in at least 4 months of community service.

The officials explained that the new initiative is aimed at improving the "character" and "practical ability" of university students.

The new program is divided up into six sections:

~ Every student will be required to plant trees. Each university and college will have a forest assigned to them which will be named after the school.

~ Each student will also be required to intern at a company or office for at least 1 month. Party committees and governments at all levels will provide some 30,000 paid internship positions for needy students, while others will have to work out their own arrangements.Tu Jingping, deputy secretary-general of the municipal government noted that in regard to the paid internship for poorer students, "the salary is not simply a stipend, it will be more than the minimum wage."

~ Students will also be required to go to the countryside to live together with peasants in order to get to know more about the countryside, but this program is specifically targeted at students from urban areas.

~ All college students will also be encouraged to work in factories alongside workers, in an attempt to cultivate a better attitude to labor and understanding of the production process among students.

~ College students are also required to take part in more than 30 days of military training.

~ Every college student will also be required to write a research report on a key area of social development.

Chongqing is one of only 4 Chinese cities that is not under the control of a higher provincial level government.

Chongqing Evening News:
Report (Chinese)
Baidu: Image