Schooling here is so terrible. I think that there is way to much school and very little education. People go in dumb and come out unchanged. It's very normal for parents to pay for their kids to to have extra schooling after school and on Sundays, so that it occupies their entire day - morning to night, everyday. It's really unhealthy for the students. Time playing and family time are very important to help children develop. The saving grace is that although it is common, the extra education isn't universal - some people don't have money or don't see it as necessary.
Why? Because the regular system is generally insufficient to educate people. The general level of knowledge and ability that I observes screams there is a problem in the system. For those who do have a good education, it comes at the expense of money, and every second of their time - in the class room. You can get prodigies that are somewhat crippled emotionally, socially, etc. However, just being able to test with superb results doesn't really do a lot of good for a person. The reason I love higher education so much is that it demands that the learning largely comes from effort outside of class. Several hours out of class for every hour in class is definitively better than only having class. Thais generally don't read - most people are literate, but because they never read, their ability to understand and study is low - which is a barrier in reading scriptures.
Then again, I am a similar thing in my ability to read - I can read and understand the Book of Mormon better than most members (I have some significant blessings in understanding a lot growing up in the church and having read it numerous times). I am used to the language and the unique flow that it has in English, so that the unusual phrasing in Thai that mirrors it is relatively easy. There is a sort of rhythm in the reading, and once I fall into it I can just read fairly smoothly. Over my reading I've learned most of the vocabulary in the BoM(About how many unique words does the bom have? It has to be fairly limited because of the the writing system that they used as well as the difficulty of engraving. I've really been wondering.) But if you put a paragraph of regular spoken Thai in front of me, I'll stumble through it. I have never read many, if not most, of the words I use on a regular basis. Church Published materials are all fairly easy.
The work still seems to be moving slowly (i.e. me). Our investigators are all getting baptised, and we're really short on people to teach - except for recent converts. I've not been so short on investigators in a long time - if ever. (Our only person with a date is really great though. She took us to visit her relatives yesterday.) On the plus side, I've got about a dozen referral people to work on - more than I've ever had before. The problem is that none of them think they are interested in the gospel (yet). I now get to rebuild a teaching pool, then try to make things so that I never find myself empty.
In the end, persistent effort always wins.
Elder Robert Buss