Excellent article from the Financial Times about Korea’s inefficient education system and how it ties into Korea’s economy and society.

Here are some slices:

South Korea has some of the world’s most over-educated bakers. In one class in Seoul teaching muffin and scone-making, there are graduates in Russian, fine art and animation. For South Korean parents, the world’s highest spenders on their children’s education, something is going horribly wrong.


Over-education has become a crippling financial drain on Asia’s fourth biggest economy. South Korean families mire themselves in debt and burn more than 3 per cent of gross domestic product on night schools and crammers dedicated exclusively to passing formulaic university entrance examinations.


To combat these weaknesses in the system, South Korea has launched “Meister schools” hoping to train master craftsmen in the German model. Under a pilot scheme, there are 21 such schools, increasing to 50 by 2012.

I think the idea of developing “master craftsman” trade association and school systems, like Germany, is very interesting.