Tuesday, May 05, 2009

East West Education

Korean government had its hand on another social target. This time, it tried to set a curfew of 10:00 pm for cram schools in Korea. Usually they would go beyond 11:00 pm, and sometimes even over the midnight line. Koreans are not known for hard working, at least not as Japanese students. However, New York Times (Losing an Edge, Japanese Envy India’s Schools) reported that Japanese parents felt Japanese students are not hard working enough yet, so they hired Indian teachers to teach their kids. Now, Japanese toddlers under Indian teachers are learning calculus in kindergartens.

The US has been getting away from its crappy public school system by harvesting talents from all over the world with lucrative financial support in graduate schools. Most of these foreign students stay in the US because of job opportunities. For example, the Washington Post article (U.S. Colleges Bask in Surge Of Interest Among Chinese) reported a uprising influx from Chinese high school graduates to apply for US colleges. Year 2008 saw a nearly double increment in US undergraduate enrollment of students from mainland China, from 9,000 in 2007 to 16,000 in 2008. The problem, it's unlikely they will stay this time, unlike what has been the case for decades. On one hand, the US is struggling with sky rocket unemployment rate, and politicians are making policies to make more jobs for US citizens by kicking out more foreign high tech workers. On the other hand, Asian countries are enjoying a more robust economic growth and flourishing career opportunities. It was reported that almost all 50 some member of the graduate class of Chinese students in the Duke MBA program this year are leaving to China. Taking away with them are the knowledge and experiences that they would need to fence off their US classmates in the real world in the years to come.

London Tower is Falling Down...

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