Civic education developments in China:
Civic education means turning citizens to good citizens. This concept was emerged in the
western nations. This concept helped western nations to improve their economy and
capital. The word citizen first introduced to china in late 19th century. By the efforts of
Chinese scholars Yan Fu and Liang Qichao, this term was experienced in 1920s and
1930s at very extreme level. Intellectuals and religious scholars advocated this term at
high level. Later on this term was declined as a result of ideological control by the
Nanjing National Government. Before 1949 civic education passed through various
processes. Enlightenment refers to national character building and rescue of nation.
Exploration focused on civic awareness and civic moral education. May forth movement
striving towards the liberation of individuals , democracy and human rights. Koumintang
implemented by national government on the place of civic education to reform nations
character. China was ruled by feudal for a long time. During that era people were
considered as subjects of the state rather than citizens. Opium war in 1840 changed the
concept of subject of the state to citizens of the state. China was invaded by western
countries and turned into colony and faced a big crises of disunity in the Chinese nation.
Some Chinese scholars started to learn from west to overcome this situation. During the
learning process they learned the concept of civic education.
Yan Fu and Liang Qichao introduced civic education during the era of late Qing
Dynasty. They learned from west and concluded that low quality of people and
shortage of talent are the reasons of disunity of our nation. Therefore, they propagated
the concept of citizenship among the nation tried to demolish the old tradition of
“subject”. They highlighted the issues of rights and duties of the citizens. They founded
new ways to make better their nation.
Yan Fu used three approaches to reform the nation, physical education, intellectual
education and moral education. He criticized the concepts of “selfishness”, “hypocrisy”,
and “servility”. According to him, development of a country is directly related to physical
strength, intellectual strength and moral strength. Yan Fu played an important role to
make better his nation by strengthening physical power, intelligence of people and
developing new ethics. He replaced the old concepts of Chinese thought by western
concept of equality and solidarity. The theory of saving nation played an important role
in the development of civic education in China.
Liang Qichao also contributed his good thoughts to save the nation. He introduced the
concept “National” which is closer to “citizen”. He argued that people of a country
should govern their own country , they should live their life according to their own rules
and they should work for the development of their country and it is the duty of people to
protect their country. He also interpreted “rights and
obligations” as “every human being is born to have obligations as well as
rights. Rights and obligations are equal in amounts (Liang 1999, p. 674).
Due to the efforts of intelligentsia and revolutionary pioneers the concept of subject
changed into civic society. The great event was abolishment of imperial examination
system in 1905 and concepts of social ethics added to the textbooks during Qing dynasty.
At that time the concept of did not got popularity and at the same time civic education
was at the process of theoretical research. Yan Fu and Liang Qichao propagated the
concept of “freedom” and “equality” which helped the nation to come out from slavery.
Revolution of 1911 ended the feudal-dictatorial monarchy and Republic of China
established. Therefore, national ethics and national education became increasingly
important and in education sector civic education became important.
May fourth movement played an indispensable role in peoples lifestyle and civic
“During this period, Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, Lu Xun, and other
progressive thinkers came to recognise that the modernisation of China
required the reform of national character and the promotion of self-reliance
and human rights awareness. Therefore, while advocating individual emancipation
by criticising feudal ethical codes, they integrated it closely with
the pursuit of a democratic and republican system and human rights. In
addition, they fully promoted the transformation of the people’s lifestyle in
practice, advocating reforms of folk customs and of marriage and the family,
popularization of vernacular literature, and innovation in art, music, science, technology,
and the legal system”( Citizenship Education in China 2014, pp.33).
East Nanjing government established in 1927. During that period of time civic education
Was replaced by “Kuomingtang” . The purpose was to get some favor in the favor
Of dictatorship. But this system discouraged by education sector strongly and got to end
After three years. After the outburst of social unrest and Japanese intervention in
Mainland China stopped progress in “Civic education”. After Mao’s revolution the basic
rights and obligations became the part of law and it opened a new way for modern and
Civic education is the compulsory part of education in contemporary China. Civic
Education is a good way to educate people about their obligations and rights.
It also discusses about the rights of minorities in China. There are 53 minorities in china
and Chinese people are like a big family. Our teacher Dr Xu Ruifang arranged a visit for
us to senior high school in China. On 26th of May we visited Caoyang No.02 high
school. There we attended a class related to political issues in China. Classroom was
convenient and facilitated with modern technology. At that day the topic was Minorities
study of China. Students were active and ready to get knowledge. Class
was on lecture base. Teacher also showed some slides to her students about Tibetan
unrest. Students also asked some questions related to that topic. We also asked some
questions about that unrest and other questions related to different political issues and
there was a quick response from the students. Critical thinking and problem solving is
also a part of civic education in contemporary China. Students were loyal to minority
groups of China, they argue that we are a big family. I asked a question “If you have a
classmate who is a Muslim then what will be your behavior to him or her?”. A student
replied me that they are good people and I have a Muslim friend who is our neighbor and
he is a good person and we play together.
1. Peoples power and peoples self mastery
2. National institutions serving the people
3. Democracy , the rule of law
4. National unification, ethnic unity
5. Independence and peaceful development
6. Public governing and rejuvenating the country
According to the teachings of “Yan fu” and “Liang Qichao” the first chapter is totally
related to self government. It teaches about a nation should be united and they should
govern their own territory. Second chapter is related to the rights of the people. At the
end we can say that civic education rapidly growing in China. There are positive results
of civic education in Contemporary China.
Civic Education developments in Pakistan
Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the issues facing the country are
both interesting and complex. The country emerged after gaining independence
from the British colonial rule. The need for two countries (India and Pakistan)
arose, because Pakistani people felt that they possessed a distinct identity; one
difference being based on religious and ideological conceptions of being
Muslims. Following the inception of Pakistan, however, the country has been
mired in problems such as “ethnic conflict, language riots”, political upheaval,
corruption and poverty . This has further created a clash of identity in which governments
from the founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Asif Ali Zardari debate whether the
country should be “Islamic theocratic” or whether a “secular, democratic” nation is the
way forward .Thus, understanding Pakistan through the clashes between tradition
and modernity, religion and secularism, and democracy vs. autocracy have been
threepivotal areas that are important to understand in terms of citizenship education.Each
of these areas seeks a different kind of citizenship education. The different “political
transitions every ten years” have created a “new education policy” Even though each
political system may have aimed to create “good citizens,” the realization of this goal has
faltered. The ruling “government’s ideology and conception of citizenship education” has
modeled citizens with in society.
Subcontinent remained under the rule of United Kingdome about hundred year. During
that period of time the education was also in the hands of Brittishers. Purpose of
education was to create citizens who obey the rules and yes, they succeeded because
there was no choice. Preaching of Christianity was also the part of education. At that
time there were two school systems, one was based on west ideology and other system
was Muslims old system of education “seminaries”. After the division of subcontinent,
Pakistan came into being in 1947. There was need to continue education, so that why,
Pakistan continued both systems of education. These two systems still have their roots in
Pakistan. Seminaries are not under the law and the other schools are under the law and
they obey the government policies. Government introduced different policies in different
times to improve education. Pakistan came into being in the name of Islam and Muslim
community is in majority so they also support the old system of education(seminaries).
The New Education Policy 1972-1980
“The education system radically changed direction after the Bhutto government
was overthrown in a military coup in 1977. The Martial Law Government of
General Zia-ul-Haq announced a new National Education policy in 1979. The policy
aims were the Islamisation of society, and citizenship education the development of
citizens as true practicing Muslims.
Fearing that the provinces of West Pakistan would follow East Pakistan, the aim
of the education policy became to build “national cohesion by promoting social and
cultural harmony”. To achieve this aim the government decided to reduce societal
inequality and encourage people’s participation in the decision-making process. It
took the radical step of nationalizing “all privately-managed schools and colleges”
and encouraged “active participation” of citizens in the universalization of
elementary education . In addition, it set up
a National Curriculum Bureau to revise the curriculum. It introduced Pakistan
studies in classes 9 and 10 to develop patriotism and build national unity. These
steps were important for citizenship as it called for people’s participation in ensuring
the rights of others and working together to build the nation”.
The National Education Policy 1998-2010
“The aims of the National Education Policy (NEP) 1998-2010 are similar to the
1979 policy, that is, to create “a sound Islamic society” through education that
serves as “an instrument for the spiritual development as well as the material
fulfillment of human needs”. To support this aim, it quoted the message of Pakistan’s
founder to the first Education Conference, where he defined the purpose of
education as the development of the “future citizens of Pakistan”. Citizens, he felt,
should be provided education “to build up our future economic life” and “build up
the character of our future generation” so that they would posses “the highest sense
of honor, integrity, responsibility and selfless service to the nation.” (National
Education Policy, 1998-2010, p.5).
There are contradictions in the two positions. Jinnah envisaged Pakistan as a
democracy in which all citizens are equal members of the state and the purpose of
education, the development of all citizens of Pakistan. This policy views Pakistan as
an Islamic state and defines citizenship in exclusionary terms. Moreover, while both
view the purpose of education as the creation of productive and useful worker citizens,
Jinnah also emphasizes character education to prepare responsible and
According to the 1973 constitution the name of the state is “Islamic Republic Of
Pakistan”. Pakistan came into being in the name of Islam and for the Muslims. This is big
challenge for the intellectuals to arrange the curriculum of the book. Democracy is a
concept which was barrowed by west and it was opposed by different Muslim scholars.
So now a day’s Pakistan has democracy and also has Muslim society. As mentioned
above the education also has a big part of Islam. There are two types of school systems in
Pakistan , one system is run by the government and the other is seminaries and they are
not under the law. Any type of education policy is not applicable in seminaries.
Contents of the book of Pakistan study for 9th class
1. Basic ideology of Pakistan
2. Pakistan came into being
3. Land of Pakistan
4. History of Pakistan
Contents of the book of Pakistan study for 10th class
1. History of Pakistan
2. Pakistan and the World
3. Social development
4. Population, society and culture of Pakistan
“Pakistan study” is a compulsory subject. Above mentioned curriculum belong to this
subject and this subject is compulsory from school level to bachelor level. This is
optional at university level. This subject is the main source to create good citizens.
Through this subject students can easily understand their duties and their rights.