Children should not be forced to memorize anything that does not serve a practical purpose. Education beyond basic social function should be “just in time” not “just in case.”
What is “practical?” That depends on the context of the child’s abilities and socio-economic status, but it can be objectively answered. Plumbers don’t need Shakespeare. A plumber is welcome to read Hamlet, but forcing him to spend 16 years in useless classroom rituals wastes both money and the most productive years of his life.
The egalitarian myth is: if all children are given a proper education, they can all have an equal chance at success. But this is an absurd and destructive lie.
In any society, a child’s success in life depends on a few critical intrinsic and extrinsic factors, namely the influence of their parents and their genetic potential.
This is true regardless of whether they live in a totalitarian dictatorship or free-market capitalism. The only difference is how parental influence is measured (political pull or wealth) and what genetic traits are rewarded — a skill at rote memorization, realpolitik power-hunger, or entrepreneurial spirit. By the age of five, it is possible to predict where any given child will end up in life based on his society, his parents, and his character.
The question is, therefore — what system most efficiently nurtures the inherent potential of the child given his inherent abilities and social influences? The answer is: a system which recognizes and respects the uniqueness of every child, and allows him to develop into the mold of his choosing and according to his abilities. The factory schooling system defies human nature and human society by attempting to fit every child into a common mold — which fits no one. This wastes decades of the lives of children and young adults and destroys the child’s natural curiosity, his power of self-motivation, and his unique perspective on the world.