China’s education and defense authorities have revised a set of guidelines on military courses for university students to improve their knowledge and skills, the Ministry of Education announced on April 12.
It said in a statement on its website that it has worked with the Central Military Commission’s national defense mobilization department to revise the guidelines, and that they have been sent to education departments, universities and military authorities to take effect in August.
The new guidelines replace those published in 2006, the statement said.
An unnamed official from the military’s physical, health and arts education department was quoted in the statement as saying that the Communist Party of China Central Committee, State Council and Central Military Commission are placing emphasis on students’ military courses, and that the current guidelines are outdated and do not fit with recent developments.
The new guidelines stress that military courses at universities must be based on President Xi Jinping’s thoughts on building a strong military and his instructions on education. It must also include the Communist Party of China’s latest military strategies and its national security perspective.
The courses will focus on fundamental military knowledge and basic skills, and will help foster students’ awareness of national defense and national security, their sense of crisis, and to also uphold patriotism and communism.
The new guidelines will amplify the importance of military courses in college curricula, and require that the courses with credits be included in the overall educational plans of universities, so that students will give these courses higher priority.
Military units will send personnel to help universities with military training.
In addition, the new guidelines will require changes in the content of lessons on the international strategic situation, advanced military technologies, information-based warfare and military topography. It will also add new skills including fistfighting, battlefield medical treatment and protective measures against weapons of mass destruction.
Wu Peixin, a military observer in Beijing, said the new guidelines will give university students more military knowledge to help them be better prepared for possible emergencies. They will also boost the country’s overall defense capability, he said.
He suggested that universities might want to hire some military veterans who have good qualifications to teach military courses, and could also invite renowned military experts to give lectures on a regular basis.
There are currently more than 2,000 universities across China that offer military courses to their students.