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Word Count: 765
The day after Microsoft banned words such as freedom democracy and human rights on its free online journals in China I think its instructive to show how the governments disregard for its own constitution is putting students education at risk Under Article 35 Citizens of the Peoples Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech of the press of assembly of association of procession and of demonstration That is certainly true for my students if I as an history teacher wish to teach them about how the Anglo-French forces burned down the summer palace in the 19th century provided I dont explain what had provoked them to do so in the first place However if I was to teach the prescribed section for the DP concerning China I would be hard-pressed to find the material to compare such a singular act with the countless palaces temples monuments and lives which were destroyed forever during the Cultural Revolution the architect of which has his image gracing the gate leading into the Forbidden City and every note on the Chinese currency As a geography teacher I was reckless enough to teach another banned topic the Great Leap Forward where in 3 years the equivalent of Canadas population was wiped out through arrogance and incompetence At least 30 million dead in 3 years Such recklessness paid off however when for the 2004 final exam the very first question specifically referred to it If the authorities had had their way the students would have been purposely kept ignorant and therefore outside of this country would have struggled to pass paper 1 To teach anything other than glowing praise of the 3 Gorges Dam is strictly prohibited despite the fact that to question and test information is necessary in a Western-based educational system rather than simply parroting what is told Here I find that it is better to mindlessly state that Mao was 70 right and not bother to consider
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