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Chinese Govt Plans to 'Vaccinate' Kids Against Corruption

Having realized it's an urgent task to foster noble probity among its new generation, the Chinese government has launched anti-corruption education among kids.

"Anti-corruption should be an indispensable part of moral education in colleges, secondary and primary schools," said Xu Subin, deputy director with the Discipline Inspection Committee of Hangzhou, the capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province.

He said such education has already been carried out in all primary and elementary schools in a major urban district for a year in Hangzhou, and was to be spread to all schools beginning last September.

The educational departments of many other cities have begun trial anti-corruption education among kids.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) launched the campaign in some big cities and provinces like Beijing, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Hubei, Shaanxi, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, in the second half of 2005.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee issued an outline for the establishment of an anti-corruption work mechanism, saying that anti-corruption education should be oriented towards "the whole Party" and "the whole society." Senior leaders, including President and Party General Secretary Hu Jintao and chief Party discipline inspector Wu Guanzheng, have also articulated the specific requirements of this task in speeches and reports.

In a survey conducted in 2003 among more than 200 first-grade middle school students in Hangzhou, the students were asked "What is the major temptation around you." "Money" and "position promotion" were the two most popular answers, with many regarding the position of class monitor as one "superior."

Survey outcome has made educational departments and government sense the emergency of extending anti-corruption education among kids.

"The function of school and education should not only promoting scientific knowledge and advanced culture, but also nurturing healthy and scientific values", said Ren Jichang, headmaster of Hangzhou Xuejun Middle School.

Although anti-corruption education classes have encountered criticism as "making kids take pills for the adult's disease," more people have be aware that corruption has become a public social "villain" globally, and it's essential to build an effective prevention and punishment mechanism of corruption, by ways of education and monitoring.

Hou Jingfang, director of the Zhejiang provincial education bureau, said that youth with anti-corruption notions will be the most valuable resources for our country and government.

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2006)

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