“It seems to me that juku are sending a message to kids that they really don’t have to pay attention at regular school because they’re going to learn the same thing at juku later. That’s one problem. Another is that Japanese children aren’t rewarded for independent thinking. I remember going to class one time and the teacher was saying, ” Okay, everyone, let’s be more creative. What are the things you need to do to be creative? Write them on the blackboard.”
Ezra Vogel, “What happened to number one?” in Reimagining Japan
Juku is basically tuition centers, or cram schools for entrance examinations. These criticisms can be applied to the Singapore education system as well. It is hard to inculcate creativity though. There needs to be a deeper change in culture in order to encourage creativity.
More about how tuition centers are ridiculous some other time.