A school in Sichuan province, China ignited debate online for having a curriculum that involves teaching boys to grow up “heroically” and for the girls to exhibit “tranquil feminine examples.”
The Chengdu Caotang Elementary School developed a course called “Boys and Girls are Vastly Different” that teaches boys to build rockets and girls to knit, according to South China Morning Post.
These activities are taught alongside mainstream subjects like math, language and art in the hopes of “increasing their gender knowledge.”
The course reportedly started last semester. School managers believed at the time that “boys and girls have been shaped in the same way recently,” Fu Jin, principal of the school, told Chengdu Economic Daily on Monday.
She added this has led to boys “lacking enough space to grow heroically and girls lacking gentle and tranquil feminine examples to follow, so there’s some gender dislocation.”
After teaching the difference between boys and girls last semester, the school has started teaching students certain activities depending on their gender. The boys learn how to build model planes, rockets and cars, while the girls are taught how to knit by teachers as well as volunteer mothers.
However, many Chinese internet users criticized the school on Monday for showing the crafts made by the students. The Chengdu Caotang Elementary School received backlash over sexism and imposing gender stereotypes on children.
“They are tying the hands of girls when young, and when these girls grow up, people would say there are only a few female scientists because girls are born unfit for that role,” a Weibo user said.
“It’s typical gender discrimination. Why can’t boys knit and girls build rockets?” another user said.
Images via Weibo