Yet bloating is everywhere. There is no good reason for technical colleges to teach a course solely in how to make espresso coffee, given how easy it is to learn on the job. There is no reason why every student needs to learn all of the key dates in their history books, even if it benefits a handful of future historians. And there is no reason to teach exactly the same ideas, facts, and opinions to every single student.
We like to think we are covering our bases, providing more opportunity, and that learning anything is never a waste of their time. But the great irony is that packing more into the curriculum actually means delaying workforce entry (thus a lower return in tax revenue and gross domestic product).
As more people are trained and certified in a particular area, said skill actually loses value to the individual; hence the job competition drives the need for even more education in spite of full competence for the jobs on offer. As the demand for education grows, so too does the inequity by advantaging those with additional time and resources up front.
Now, as you might imagine, I have found very few teachers willing to agree with me on this, and I suspect it is in part because they know they and their colleagues may be benefiting from this glut of wasted money. Besides, no one wants to admit to their own redundancy.
Put simply, looking back on your schooling, what did you gain besides literacy and numeracy? The vast majority of what teachers take us through is of little consequence, and it is this reality that allows many of them to stop caring. Instead of showing up each day with the intent to train their students in critical thinking and foster a passionate curiosity in their world, they come in and relate the same old information set out in syllabuses and school documents.
After subjecting young people to this each day, it is little wonder they emerge jaded. Until we cut down on the fat, we will continue to see the lazy appeasement of lecturers in place of genuine development.