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Nai's World: Education
Elf
rix_scaedu
This is the first background piece for the December Prompt Request.

The classical education system of the pre-invasion period was aimed at producing scholars well versed in philosophy, history and the literature greats of prose and poetry.  Sorcerers were also often trained in these fields but the extent of that training varied as sorcery was taught on an apprenticeship system with students bound to a master for many years from an early age.  The apprenticeship system was even more strongly entrenched in the trades, which led to a certain friction between scholars and sorcerers over issues of relative status with the two competing for dominant status in the eyes of each other and society as a whole.

Only the Solar Emperor, the reincarnating ruler of the country, was above these disputes as he was both a scholar and a sorcerer.

After the invasion, and practically at gunpoint, the invaders ‘guided’ the reshaping of the education system in their image.  A formal, government- run system of primary and secondary schools was created with education being compulsory for all children from the age of five to the age of sixteen.  Apprenticeships were altered so they could only begin once the minimum school leaving age was reached.

Teaching in all three levels of schooling is conducted face to face.  Primary school begins at age four or five and consists of seven grades which are normally completed at age eleven or twelve.  This is followed by secondary school, compulsory to the age of sixteen, which consists of a maximum of six grades.  A student who completes all six grades then sits a matriculation exam with which results it is then possible to apply for a place in an undergraduate course at a university tertiary school.  The tertiary system is complicated by the addition of technical schools initially supported, but now simply endorsed, by the trade guilds which are designed to supply the more sophisticated needs of the apprentice system.

For historical cultural reasons, the ‘classical scholar’ track of tertiary study is still the most prestigious one can undertake even though entry to top level public service administration positions are no longer dependent on passing and excelling in written examinations on philosophy, history and literature.

Sorcery appears in no curriculum at any level within the country but almost every child in the country studies gi for at least a year when they are six.  It simply does not occur within the school system.


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Neat.

So Nai's family's lack of support in her exams - and lack of tutoring - could have shaped/messed up her whole adult life?

Potentially, yes. As it turned out, she did fine without it - possibly because without parental interference she could pick subjects she was good at and not get railroaded into "the right subjects."

Like she almost got railroaded into the right marriage? :-D

I don't think Father's given up on that idea, it's just that Mother is trying to make him redefine and refine his search parameters. :)

I don't like Father very much.

Father's a bit of a rigid traditionalist. One of his sons is supposed to be a Reincarnated Scholar and Father has very definite ideas on how that is going to pan out. (Said Reincarnated Scholar has other ideas and actually knows exactly who he is, he's just not telling. :) )

Ooh, I'd like to see that story somtime.

And some of how the rest of Nai's family thinks about her disapearnce!

I think Father is setting himself up for worlds of disappointment. Hopefully Mother will be able to knock some sense into him with a sledgehammer correctly applied tea.

Father's still looking for a quik solution...

Brother is in my vague plotting of the main storyline. What the rest of the family thinks would be something for a Prompt call. :)

<giggles> I've been wondering if he's the one who decided he was going into Engineering. If so, that could be an interesting socialcultural trendsetter. Regardless, looking forward to meeting him at greater length!


Edited at 2013-01-07 07:29 pm (UTC)

:)What can I say in answer to this that wouldn't count as a spoiler?

I think this is where you bust out your best authorial "be patient, we'll get there" smile. :)

That's what I'' do then. :)

~Everyone studies gi, but outside of the public school system. Gi teachers are paid by (the parents of) their students -- or at least, Scholar Sung is paying Master Que, and expects class prices to go up with potential / more intense training. How are gi classes for kids whose parents can't afford them paid for?

Good question!

My music school had a sliding scale for low-income families (like ours)...

That may well be part of the answer. I'm going to guess, given Master Lau, that not everyone who teaches does that. With no central organization system (or at least, not one that's visible to the invaders?), it's hard to arrange sufficient coverage everywhere...

A good question and one I don't have an answer for. Perhaps there isn't a universal solution. You might have a combination of teachers who charge what their area can afford, or even give free lessons as part of a program while it might be routine for some to do what Master Que did and charge a low fee to keep a student they really want. Perhaps some charge reduced tuition in return for chores around the training school?

Of course, Master Que has the luxury of not supporting himself from his fees.

Master Que has the luxury of doing whatever he likes with his time, which apparently includes a little teaching, when sweet-talked by a six-year-old who turns out to have amazing potential. (Could he tell that then, I wonder? I would not complain if you felt like writing that scene, though it may not belong in the story arc.)

Arranging for older students with demonstrated potential to continue studying seems logistically easier than making sure that ~all the six year olds get to try it out and get a reasonable amount of attention. Not critical now, may not matter in this story arc.

I really do mean to have that turn up in the main story...

Yay! So glad Aldersprig thought of this question!

Are there any sorcerers anymore outside of gi and train pickpockets? If so, where do they train? What do they do with their sorcery?

-Friendly Anon

That's a good question too and I will have to think about it. :)

I'm wondering now if Nai isn't a Reincarnated Sorcerer -- she has so much more wisdom than one would expect for her age, and it seems she is far better at manipulating Gi...how often is a Reincarnated Whichever not consciously aware of their past experience? Or is that the usual case and knowing is less common? How does one usually find out, the prophecies from the temple or....? Soooo many things this brings up to think about!

Edited at 2015-09-19 03:36 pm (UTC)

I would prefer not to discuss your questions too much at the moment because some of them are connected to something I'm heading towards in the main story at the moment. :)

Cool, that will give me time to come up with theories and see how close I get!

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