||Impact on the Young
IIn the spring 1967, the government ordered students
to go out and communicate with workers, and encouraged the students to partake in the
Cultural Revolution. Many students, young and idealistic, did not like being told what to
do. Instead attacks on the party organization and bloodshed became a norm in China, and
consequently the confusion reached a peak in summer 1967.
In October, the government demanded that the Cultural Revolution values be taught in
schools. But most schools couldn't cope with this and control fighting, for graduates in
1966, 67 who filled high and senior schools now had to take courses on the Cultural
Revolution-making the whole idea more of a stumbling block to the students than a means of
creating a new society.
Manual Labor in the Countryside
It was an important issue to send graduates into society, but in those days society was in
terrible chaos, which made it impossible. The Revolutionary Committees decided to allocate
graduates to the countryside or a remote region according to Mao's instruction. Then Mao
said; "It is necessary for intellectual students to go the countryside and be
re-educated by poor or average peasants." That made students do manual labor in the
countryside and the Red Guards campaign came to an end.
The exile was supported by Mao's unique method (a communist idea coming from the Soviet)
which said, "The more books you read, the more stupid you become", "A
school curriculum should be half", and "A normal school term should be
short". The idea was that educational substance should be simpler and students should
be reeducated practically.
In this way about four millions urban graduates were transferred to the countryside or
wilderness. Youth faced various problems there. In the way of life, it was hard to adjust
themselves to self-sufficiency. Above all there were many problems in terms of food,
housing, and medicine.
What did the campaign for students bring in the end? First there was a lack of good
talent. There were about a million college students who had neglected their studies,
senior high school students were more than two millions. In some regions all the high
school graduates were transferred to the countryside, and senior high schools closed
More than sixteen million students were forced to do manual labor in the countryside all
over China. Some students recommenced with their studies after the revolution, but most
students' remained at high school level or below. Difference between the educational
levels of China and that of the world grew with the campaign, consequently there remained
many problems, as now China was in an educational dive.