Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.
Precisely. For about two decades the school system has been getting narrower. Politicians deciding what needs to be taught, based on what they think is good for the working classes and what they learned at school 40 or 50 years ago.Then their imposing Behaviourist/rote teaching methods. All enforced by endless "high-stakes" testing.
So; knowing times tables is very useful - but not the best approach for all kids*. Not everyone learns well by rote. So sensibly teachers should teach it, and if it takes move on, If it doesn't there are other approaches. And maybe for some kids there could be a narrower or more limited focus - such as making sure they at least know multiples of the primes to 7 and how to work with them. . But instead kids now all have to sweat to learn tables to 12x12 for a government test. Teach and test because of the Behaviourism and control. 12x12 because that's what the politicians had to learn** in the days of £s Shillings and pence and feet and inches (when we needed those calculations)..
* The more pressure and anxiety there is to memorise something the harder it becomes to do so.
**This being El Reg someone will now write about how useful 12x12 can be for some obscure reason. But that's not the point.