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TCM Added to Elementary School Curriculum

Should traditional Chinese medicine be added to the elementary school curriculum?

By Zhang Qingchen Updated Sept.18

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) education has been made part of the elementary school curriculum in Zhejiang Province, but the decision has not been welcomed by all.  

The province pioneered the country’s first Chinese medicine textbook for elementary school students. According to the plan issued by the provincial education authority, students in Grade 5 (age 12) will study the course from this semester.   

The opposition voices are that fifth graders have the pressure on the junior high school entrance examination, and adding TCM courses would take time away from major subjects.  

Such doubts were to be expected, said Fang Jianqiao, the chief editor of the textbook and the head of Zhejiang Chinese Medicine University, but this is a pilot program in order to consider the possibility of introducing the course to more grades and middle school students. Besides, the language was adapted to the abilities of fifth graders, Fang added, which means the textbook is easy to read. 

Fang stressed that the significance of adding TCM courses is to let children incorporate traditional Chinese medical practices into their daily life, and to cultivate the interests of Chinese traditional culture and to improve the health of the whole nation.  

According to another news site Yzwb.sjzdaily.com.cn, primary school students would develop a balanced diet or lifestyle if they could learn classical TCM theories and practices as early as possible.