The policy adopted in China is that research, education and training should serve production. In putting this into practice, they have adopted what they call an open-door policy of research and teaching.
These policies are being achieved through “three-in-one” combinations. Leaders, researchers and worker/farmers identify production problems together and work together to solve the problems. Teachers, researchers and worker/farmers teach each other and learn from each other.
Furthermore, the combination of “theory with practice” is more than just talk. In the Mission's view it seems to be a hard and fast rule at all levels of research, education and training.
A practical effect of these working policies has been that even artificial fish propagation is now commonly and widely practised by ordinary fish farmers in the countryside. In contrast this is a highly specialized field in most other countries, usually only done by government scientists/technicians.
The Mission visited several research institutes in Shanghai Municipality and in Kwangtung, Hupei and Kiangsu Provinces. Everywhere the “open-door” method of carrying out scientific research was evident.
Research institutes have organized “three-in-one” groups composed of workers, technicians and scientists. Together these groups identify problems of production; together they plan and carry out research, not only in the laboratory but more often in the field at actual site operations.
Production units themselves also develop scientific research through the “three-in-one” combination.
The institutes have adopted a basic pattern by which researchers go to the production field to learn from fishery workers and fishermen, while assisting them in production and in practical research. Thus, the fishery workers and fishermen play a very significant role in the scientific research effort; the researchers, on the other hand, combine the generalization of scientific work with production.
In Shanghai there are ten counties. A network system of collecting all problems of production, views and experiences from these counties has been organized by the Fisheries Research Institute of Shanghai. It is a “Science Technique Exchange Group” and seeks to increase the level of science and technique of the fishery production workers.
The Group collects all problems in the field which have to be solved. Research workers take part in this job. Through this “Science Technique Exchange Group” and the “three-in-one” combination, the research workers combine their scientific knowledge and discuss possible avenues for solution. Meetings are held once a year for one to three days with about 200–300 people participating.
Like the research institutes, the educational and training institutions of China have also adopted the “open-door” policy.
Teachers themselves must go to the field, especially to the more advanced production units, not only to teach but also to learn from the worker/farmers. They join the peasants and workers and participate in physical labour in the communes.
For the students, the result of an entrance examination is no longer the criterion for entering an educational training institution. Colleges and universities admit students in accordance with Chairman Mao's instructions that “Students should be selected from among workers and peasants with practical experience”. They must have a minimum of two years', preferably five years', working experience in the field. They are also selected from, among and by the commune members. On completion of their education the graduates usually return to their respective production units in their commune.
A few graduates, who have to further their education and training for specialized and advanced scientific research, are assigned by the State to research institutes.
Teachers and students often go together to fish breeding farms in the communes, combining production with scientific education and research.
Since students have practical experience before entering an educational institution, they also take part in management of the schools. Together with the teachers, they comment on teaching methods and materials and help in raising the quality of teaching.
University technical education has now been reduced to three years from the former four to five-year programme. The number of subjects taught has been reduced. The courses retained are those most directly related to actual production.
Educational institutions and even communes organize short-term training courses periodically. In at least two communes visited by the Mission there were special buildings to house and provide laboratory space for research. These were called “peasant universities”.
Such training courses for peasants are usually organized during the slack labour season or during evenings. Parts of training courses are, however, also held during the actual fish-breeding season. Throughout the whole educational and training process, emphasis is laid on combining theory with practice.
Workers, students and farmers with political consciousness and practical experience take to such a university type of education and short training courses “like fish to water”. Another educational policy is the so-called “ups and downs” system of college teaching. “Up” means the students combine work with study within the college. “Down” means the students return temporarily to production teams to put what they have learned into practice. The activities, duration of periods, and number of “ups and downs” vary according to different specialities and grades.