Actually, we inherited our educational system from the British. As time passed, and as knowledge increased, the curriculum naturally became more bloated.
Nevertheless, there have been improvements though perhaps for some, they have come too slowly.
For one thing, ever since the advent of streaming, the attrition rate has fallen: there are less dropouts, and more people are studying for longer years.
With the global shift in power, America is now number 1, and our system is slowly beginning to resemble theirs. Strangely, the changes seem to begin from the University level but should gradually reach the lower levels. The idea of project work is one such sign.
In the last five years or so, there has been an attempt to lighten the curriculum by trimming about 20% off. In its place are initiatives such as IT, creative thinking and national education.
Unfortunately, the IT road ahead is not as clear. Whilst the government has pumped lots of money into supplying schools with hardware, there has been little benefit to show for it. We have no real examples to emulate here and the use of IT in education, even in the developed countries, have not been an all-out success. Our investment in this area though has been tremendous.
Creativity is another bugbear. Even experts are not convinced that it can be taught. I feel that more emphasis should be given to subjects like Art and Music in primary schools but sadly, right now, this is not happening. Those teaching Art in primary schools for instance, are less than well-trained in the subject. How can creativity be nurtured in this manner?
As for National Education, it is dull propaganda more than anything. Before its demise, the Project Eyeball people produced their best work when they made an issue out of this.
But perhaps we underestimate the difficulties of carrying out changes at such a massive level. In the meanwhile, we should appreciate the strengths of our education system. Most of our young people are firmly grounded in English (compare our proficiency in the language to that of the Japanese, for example), numeracy as well as a second language, amongst other things.