Chapter 6 Education
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By creating a large pool of productive workers as well as well-educated and socially integrated citizens, education is a critical component of building the nation, economy and society. In East Asian economies, education is not just important. It attracts a strategic focus as to develop their economy. Perceived to be prerequisites for development, education is considered as an investment strategy to grow quality workforce. Not only that, it is expected, through mass education, to create a sense of belonging, nationhood and political legitimacy. Free and universal mass education has developed in order to address the need for more educated manpower essential to advance economic development. A centralised system of education was also necessitated in order to build strong nationhood. Nevertheless, education has increasingly become much less about providing equal opportunities to all but much more about sorting out winners and losers from the competitive environment.

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