Thursday, December 5, 2013

Education Fever causing Low Birth Rates ?

Is the push for more education pushing down birth rates in East Asia ?.  So far Sri Lanka fertility rate has not fallen below the replacement rate of 2.1

There is a body of scholarship showing that the collapse of the fertility rate to dangerously low levels across east Asia is the direct consequence of school cramming and "education fever".

In this paper we argue that East Asia’s ultra-low fertility rates can be partially explained by the steadfast parental drive to have competitive and successful children…

Obsession with education in Korea has become an integral part of contemporary Korean culture and affects all aspects of social life. Deeply rooted Confucian values stress education as the best way for achieving high social status and economic prosperity. A collapse of the hierarchical social class system coupled with egalitarian ideas from the West have created the notion that any Korean child can achieve personal advancement, economic prosperity, and social mobility through education.
Variants of this education fever are visible across East Asia. Some 97pc of children in Singapore receive extra private tutorials. Very young children are sent to "cram schools" in Taiwan after normal school is finished. It is no surprise that one of the consequences observed by psychologists is delayed or incomplete emotional development.
Over-schooling is not the only reason why East Asian fertility has collapsed, but it is a big reason. There clearly comes a point when it is unhealthy. So as in all things in life, moderation and common sense are advised. And plenty of play.

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