One of the first things I noticed at my university were students in military uniforms. This confused me. Did I just sign up to teach English at a military base camp? The students were lined up on several fields throughout the university. The leader of each group shouted into the megaphones as the students chant and march forward in unison. They start at 6am and continues till around 10pm with several different groups.
Issued by China’s ministry of education, this is required for all university students in China to graduate. They must complete this one month course at their university and it’s usually the month before classes start. At my university, this is completed by the second year students though many other universities have it completed before their first year. It’s not nearly as difficult as true military training but still holds some of the basic concepts. The students are taught to follow orders, striping away any thought of independence for their university life. Officially, it’s to teach the students self-discipline while unofficially makes them more patriotic. My students said it’s hard work and that their not a fan of the requirement. In my opinion, this doesn’t seem the best way to be teaching the youth self-discipline if that’s truly what they’re even aiming for.