Looking at the recent history of South Korea, after the Japanese occupation, I noticed some interesting things about how education was divided amongst the haves & have nots.
Initially the divide was gender based. While everyone had access to basic education “Young Factory Girls” would go work long hours in factories so their brothers would have access to further education. Working conditions were not great, health and beauty were sacrificed. (Beauty is very important for the marital prospects of Korean women, most do/did not work after marriage.)
This gradually changed, women have equal access to further education. The divide has shifted though. Now it is becoming a class divide. Those who can afford it, pay for private tutors & send their children to expensive universities. Those parents who cannot afford this means their children are not getting the same education. As Dr. Hun Joo Park stated: what happens if the next great idea is in the head of a poor child? If children of the poor are not educated as well, then we are losing the child’s potential?
As in many countries, the middle class is shrinking. I do not think the rich/poor divide is unique but there are no government safety nets here – none. If you do not educate your populous fully, if there is not equal access to education, the potential of your peoples is lost.
I will have to think on this further….