Technology has made a huge difference
Re: The difference between those days and now
I certainly agree with you about the respect teachers were held in back in the old days. They certainly did compete to see how many kids they can get to pass the exams to get into high school.
However, that only resulted in a cutthroat system.
The winners and the losers.
The teacher would concentrate more effort on all the smart kids because they were going to have more chance of passing the exams, whereas the slower learning kids got left behind and disciplined.
These kids fell off the education cliff and their education finished.
So what happened is that only the smart kids got into high school. Everyone who went through those schools now talk about “the old days” as if the education system was so much more advanced when in reality they got a distorted view of the education system.
They were just all surrounded by the smart kids who passed the primary school exams.
Everyone else got kicked out of the education system and had to go to the plantation or to the market. Nowadays, all those slower learners are still in high school because the education system now caters for them as well.
You also talk about maths problems and automatic calculators in kid’s heads.
What really happened was that the teacher wrote everything up on the blackboard, the kids wrote everything down to memorise everything and then the “smartest children” were the ones who had the best memories. They didn’t learn much about critically analysing about solving mathematics problems but simply memorised all the answers the teacher spoon fed them from the board.
This kind of rote-learning was supposed to have been stamped out by now but in many primary schools, the teachers are still doing it “the old way”. It is also the easiest way to teach and doesn’t involve much thinking.
There is now a big push to have teachers obtain formal tertiary qualifications so they can actually teach the kids properly instead of simply getting kids to memorise everything.
You talk of kids fighting. The school fighting has been going on for decades.
The only difference now is that every kid has a smart phone to take videos of all the fights or they are using those phones to arrange fights.