Education is an indispensable ingredient in a programme of economic development. Industry requires a literate labour force and so does the organisation of co-operative agriculture. The introduction of modern technology, the health service and administration at every level, all require a high level of education. To meet this need, the new government in China, after 1949, at first had to make do with what there was. There were two strands in the existing educational system: the ossified tradition of classical learning and Western knowledge disseminated by teachers who tried to make their pupils despise everything Chinese. Neither was appropriate to New China, but any teachers were better than none.

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