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Word Count: 371
China has a long and rich cultural tradition in which education has played a major role In 124 BC the first university was established for training prospective bureaucrats in Confucian learning and the Chinese classics Only members of the upper class could attend school Peasants and factory workers did not have the time to attend school therefore as of 1949 only 20 of China was literate The Communists who controlled China considered illiteracy a major stumbling block in their promotion of political programs They then combined political propaganda with educational development During the first few years 1949-51 of this push on education over 60 million peasants enrolled in winter schools or sessions established to take advantage of the slack season for agricultural workers Mao the Communist leader of China felt that the ultimate goal of education was to eliminate class distinction After Maos death in 1976 a review of government policies concerning education was started Out of this review came standardized testing and the reinstitution of entrance exams to get into schools and these exams were also used to get in the civil service Chinese children entered school at age six and stayed for six years They would study the Chinese language math and other basic subjects After going to an elementary school children would enter a middle school The subjects the Chinese taught were particularly important for the advancement of the country During the Ming dynasty Chinese novels became very popular There were many poems and collections of short stories The Ming also established free schools for the public hoping to expand education in china Gifted students were selected for studying abroad especially in the United States As these students finished their education and returned to China some of them teaching at Chinese Universities a major political unrest began to place The recently educated youth of China challenged the Communist policies of their country Many protest and rallies took place led
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