Well considering that China is a communist country purportedly founded on such ideals, it doesn't surprise me that this is required education.
Here in the United States, students at the high school (and some times middle school) level are exposed to Marxism/Communism generally through their American history courses. So this means that the representation is through the lens of how these ideals have effected and shaped our history, so not only is it almost always biased, it doesn't take an objective look at the philosophies themselves.
For American students, you either have to study the subject matter independently or wait until you reach the college level, where there are almost always plenty of electives to take pertaining to Marxism/Communism.
I don't have a problem with Marxism being required, IF other systems of government are also presented (Libertarianism, Anarchism, Capitalism, etc.)
In many western countries, there is a lack of political literacy amongst the populace. This apathy is not a good thing.
It was one of all the isms we learned about. marxism, communism, socialism, .. what was the difference now again? It wasn't really a big part. If you knew nothing about marxism and enough about the rest you could still pass the course.