I believe students should have a say in what they are studying.
The renewed emphasis on "critical thinking" has already had mixed results. Students and teachers remain unsure what kind of issues should fall into this new category. Should Chinese culture and social issues be included in it?
The assessment of students' progress in critical thinking is also controversial. Students are awarded good marks for critical, even cynical, comments about Chinese social issues. Yet they are also rewarded for singing the praises of the country.
I am of the opinion that critical thinking isn't meant to be taught, but should be acquired as a skill through a student's daily life and experience. A subject dedicated specifically to it is a waste of time.
The key to critical thinking is to boost students' language skills. That way, they will be more likely to have independent minds and be able to express themselves better.