We had a recent semi-literate President who went to the best private schools in America and learned virtually nothing. Educating children is very difficult. For eons, societies struggled to teach their young. To run a civilization, you need sane, educated people. The race to educate and thus rule is continuous. All countries compare each other in this area, education. And it is a hard race and the winners are whoever learns the most and applies this the best.
In Asia, the question about how to learn English or not learn it is a huge issue. Japan requires English classes for much of the educational system but teaches it in such a fashion, virtually no one learns anything. The cultural push to alienate and eliminate all outsiders destroys any ability to learn any foreign languages with any level of skill.
Nursing exam pass rate down among foreign applicants: this system imports nurses because few Japanese women want the job but Only 30 foreigners pass nursing exam despite inept lessons offered. So hundreds take these tests and 95% fail. I was a language major in college, my language was German. I even got a scholarship to study in Germany in 1968.
My first day in school, I announced to everyone at the assembly that no one was allowed to practice their English with me, it was Verboten. Nur deutsch. Within six months, I spoke German like a native and when I was arrested that July (we were having a revolution, you see) I told the Polizei that I was an American citizen so one of them asked me to speak English and I couldn’t do this without a heavy German accent!
The nurses taking this test live in Japan for several years. But are not immersed in the language, obviously. No one in the government makes a move to change this fake system by either having no tests but using evaluation of work as the method to see who is capable or by changing the test to make it more realistic. You see, the bureaucrats making up the tests are people who survived the Japanese test system which is an odious system. Memorization of obscure grammar tools is the main goal.
It is well known in the foreign teaching world in Japan that the Japanese don’t learn English or any other language well due to this concentration on goofy, arcane and bizarre grammatical exceptions. No overall comprehension tests are administered. Unlike with many of the tests I underwent which require reading quickly and then writing an essay in a foreign tongue, the tests one has to pass in Japan look at the minute rather than the overall picture.
Frightened by how swiftly South Korea, Taiwan and China are mastering foreign languages and making huge inroads overseas in trade due to this, the LDP education proposal includes TOEFL prerequisite for univ entrance ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion
The proposal states, “The development of human resources is essential for achieving the Abe cabinet’s most important issue, economic revitalization. Moving away from egalitarianism, strategic human resource development aimed at strengthening top achievers will be undertaken.”
In order to develop globally-active individuals, the draft recommends a three-pronged approach: drastically reforming English language education; revamping science and math education with an aim to promoting innovation and a doubling of PhDs; and enhancing education for information and communication technology.
TOEFL is used for admissions in a number of schools. The SAT in the US is used to see if students understand college-level English and a surprising number can’t pass even if they were born in the US and English is their main form of communication. Literacy and a love of language beyond, ‘Cute’ or ‘Yo, dude’ is required if one wishes to attend a university.
The poverty of modern language use thanks to TV and other passive entertainments is getting worse every decade. Periodically, I overhear people being entertained by media when outdoors in stores, etc. The audio is moronic, often only a few dozen words used over and over again. Overhearing girls talking about something they like is mainly ‘cute’ with virtually no other descriptive words, often repeated endlessly. Once, I counted a group of teens saying this magic, all-purpose word 45 times in less than a minute.
Japan can’t learn English or any other foreign language any time soon because, collectively, they don’t want to so they don’t. Meanwhile, China is returning to its roots as the Middle Kingdom: Top China University’s Scrap English – Forbes Note the ‘University’s’ here. Totally bad grammar! Forbes has no more editors so no one corrected this headline. It should be plural ‘Universities’. Proof that the education system used by the headline writer is verging on illiterate.
In most of the country’s major state universities, those who have applied for science and engineering majors for example now just need to pass the pre-requisite math and physics exams.
Yu Han, an enrollment officer at Tsinghua University, told China Daily on Sunday that the subject was eliminated in order to reduce new students’ study time and get more of them to focus on their course majors.
Earlier, few papers were published first in Chinese. Now, they are catching up with the West and feel strong enough to no longer need mainly English. The Japanese still publish studies and papers but it is falling off as the country declines whereas in China it is taking off like a rocket. Student count, knowledge sliding – The Japan Times: in the last 20 years the number of students graduating from high school in Japan has fallen by 50%. Only 1 million today. And they come to the universities with very poor skills.
The number of college students has remained at half a million which means weaker students get to go to universities with less work. And they know this which is why they don’t bother so much anymore. The universities have a high graduation rate but only because they let anyone graduate easily, it is the highest on earth but isn’t producing great intellectuals.
China has over 6 million university students. And they are the cream of the crop from a population base of a billion people! There are six times more university students in China than there are high school students in Japan.
Now on to India which has never had a revolution and thus has the old, creaky, discriminatory system of caste rule: What Are You Doing to Fix India’s Broken Education System? – NYTimes.com. The article is OK but by far, the best information, as it always is with the NYT, is in the comments which is probably why so few articles there allow comments. At least this one did:
Uziel NogueiraFlorianopolis – SC – Brasil
The problem in India is not the poor quality of public education.
The problem in India –and many developing and developed countries, including Brazil — is the political system dominated by a small wealthy elite.
In India, the children of the elite have the best school money can buy. Perhaps (guessing) 5 million privileged children out of a population of 600 million school age kids. Public education of good quality is not a priority for the political system to spend taxpayers money.
By the way, something similar to India has occurred in the US. One of the best public education systems in the world after WWII became a dumping ground for children of the poor and disenfranchised.
India produces ten times the University students that Japan produces. And most go to private, privileged schools. And then there is this comment:
Yes, india is doing very poorly on mass education. But the reasons (as Mitra points out) are very complex and have as much to do with over-regulation and lack of accountability. Govt teachers are hired for life and usually for political reasons. They can never be challenged or removed for any reason. If a parent dares challenge them or the school, the teachers union can have the parent beaten or the child thrown out of the school !!!!
Some very large govt programs in “education” have been created recently (including the “right to education”) but 70-90% of the funds are stolen before delivery by the ruling political parties in different states. This is one reason why legislatures are so happy to pass these “rights” and affiliated laws.
At the same time opening a private school in india is very expensive and will involve extensive payoffs to local politicians. In some recent incidents, private schools were closed because they taught too much english (the best way to get poor people richer) or because they had stumbled over some obscure local legislation.
This complex reality isn’t reflected in this article.
Here is an article discussing the caste problems of India. Nearly the entire industrial and business and banking system is run by the two top castes: When will the Brahmin-Bania hegemony end? – Livemint
India’s population of Brahmins and Banias and Jains all together is 6% or less.
Media in India is almost entirely controlled by Banias and Jains…The largest caste in India is Shudra.
We think Shudra means untouchable, but it actually means peasant. The peasant castes, such as Patel, constitute more than 50% of India’s population.
Going to private schools and getting the best education and being an elite with rich parents doesn’t always translate into being good citizens or even successful: Katheryn Kalikow daughter of real estate mogul Peter Kalikow arrested with heroin | Mail Online
Kalikow’s father is Peter S Kalikow, a real estate baron with a fortune of up to $1billion. He is the former head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, once ran the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is a former owner of the New York Post…Court documents show undercover Bronx police detectives responded to a Craiglist post advertising ‘stamps, diesel, H train, dope, bundles, tickets, dog food’ – all of which are slang for heroin.
Both she and her boyfriend went to Vassar College at $50 thousand a year. The gangsta culture has taken over our country and is the model many youth follow, rich or poor. This is a social problem due to our media and when daddy owned the media, he was part of this business of making the gangsta culture attractive as does Hollywood and music moguls.
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