In most of the countries around the world, education is standardized either according to its state or by a central government. Thus, children grow up learning more or less the same text books and material. Although this trend is now in reverse, this was the predominant education mould for decades and it was successful in terms of providing contributors to the economy. Why was it successful and why was it so important?
Universal education became the norm during the industrial revolution, when the powers-that-be finally realized that skilled labour was of more value to them than unskilled labour. However, they did not need skilled labours who had a mind of their own; that would disrupt the status quo in the factories which were the main employers of that era. So to ensure biddable yet intelligent workers, the education system was shaped around discipline, team effort, competition and conformity to rules. The basic standards in education to this day reflect the basic knowledge required to survive in a competitive job market. For instance, the NAPLAN language conventions ensures that all children learn a certain standard of spelling, grammar and punctuation but do not worry over abstract thinking which is more important in developing emotional intelligence.
Before the advent of the 21st century and digital-technological prowess, the education system described above managed to adapt to non-industrial jobs as well. Although workers no longer stood in assembly lines doing repetitive tasks, they were still segregated in terms of job role and given one job that they were responsible for. Competition in the work place became a natural holdover from the competition in schools for top academic or sports positions, which usually guaranteed jobs.
Looking to the Future
The best way to weed out those who stood within the framework of academia or sports was standardized exams, like selective testing online. Children would face these selective high school practice tests to be admitted to schools that had better reputations, better opportunities and would give them the chance to connect to influential people.