The latest version of Chinese textbooks for primary school children are set to include the lyrics of Taiwanese pop idol Jay Chou. This move recognises the modern work of respected artists that the age group has a legitimate interest in, though old-school literature veterans may not agree.
Third graders textbooks are set to include the lyrics of Chinese singer-songwriters 2001 hit, “Snail”. The song connotes the notion that dreams can be fulfilled through “relentless determination and desire to succeed”, ecsn.cn reported. For second graders the song “Tianlu,” which is about the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, will be included in the poetry textbook, providing diversity and moderns texts as an option.
These new textbooks have been compiled by the Language and Literature Press, affiliated with the Ministry of Education, and have been in the pipeline since last July. Though some are still anticipating approval from authorities.
The inclusion of modern popular culture into the curriculum is not welcomed by all as some feel it takes away attention form literary classics and greats. Despite the fact that there has been no mention that this literature is being scrapped.
A popular Weibo post talked about how students should listen to this music in their own time if they enjoy it and in class they should study “real” literature. China Post, on the other hand, reports that the children are “delighted”.
Whatever, we just hope they find a way to include this image in the curriculum.
By Sophie Regan