12-Year-Old Chinese Students Will Learn Acupuncture, Other Traditional Medicine Practices

Young students in China’s Zhejiang province will be getting a change to their curriculum. The province will be the first in the country to introduce different aspects of traditional Chinese medicine into the daily studies in the final year of primary school. Some of the new things the kids will be learning include how to eat seasonal ingredients, the benefits of massage, and even how to administer acupuncture. The schools’ science teachers, who have been trained by the Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine over the summer, will be teaching the classes.

According to the Telegraph,

The news has divided opinion of parents and Chinese society, as many see traditional medicine as useless and teaching it a waste of precious school time, while others see it as a good way to imbue the children with the essence of Chinese culture.

The Zhejiang education authority has had to respond to concerned parents, explaining that the course content will not be part of school exams.

But many see the addition of the curriculum as a way to preserve Chinese tradition and create a fondness and pride for the country and its customs.

“Primary and secondary students learning Chinese medicine isn’t just to help them improve their own health, it’s also a way to get Chinese medicine’s scientific values and spirit into every household. Instilling a love of our country’s traditional culture in primary and secondary school students will be good for the health of the whole society,” Professor Fang told the Qianjiang Evening News.

And while the Zhejiang province was the first to introduce the curriculum, it will not be the last. There are plans to have the entire country begin the lessons as well. Many people discussed the decision on Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter. While some had issues with it (“Poisoning yet another generation”), others thought it was a great way to increase confidence in China among the youth. Many people see the principles as a good guide on how to live healthy lives.