China is taking art education more and more seriously. College students must now get a minimum of two art credits before they can officially graduate from university, reports China Daily.
The Ministry of Education recently released a note requiring all higher education institutions to include art related curriculums in their annual teaching schedules. Universities must also hold more activities like lectures and performances to increase student appreciation for art and aesthetics.
According to the new rule, all students must complete at least one arts course or get at least two art credits at some point during their four years of college. To make things easier, universities are now being encouraged to recognize credits earned at peer schools. This means that students can now sign up for art classes from other universities.
Aside from emphasizing art education, the new mandate also requires colleges to hire more qualified art teachers, reform art-related curriculums and promote traditional Chinese culture in more innovative ways.
Image via Pexels
It’s no secret that art education in China is currently lacking. Compared to more mainstream courses like Chinese and mathematics, art courses like painting and music are marginalized.
There are very few art courses offered at primary and middle schools and the same is true at the university level. Based on a survey conducted last year in Beijing, 46% of colleges have never even had art courses. This may explain why some netizens are not all that thrilled about the new requirement.
“It’s nothing but a waste of time,” commented one netizen. “I’m already exhausted from taking all professional courses.”
“Isn’t it too late to emphasize art education from college?” said another. “I think it’s better to start from primary schools. Although back then, my art teachers were always ‘sick’ for some reason and then Chinese or mathematics teachers stepped in.”
According to the note, colleges should upgrade their art education courses, hire more teachers and build better facilities by 2022. In addition, a complete art education system should be put into place by 2035. The ministry is expected to announce further information in the near future.
[Cover image via Pexels]