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From how I am reading the poem, given that some believe most poetry may be subjective, I would tend to lead towards the fact that (according to "Modern Ode to the Modern School" by Erskine) the modern school only focuses upon providing a very limited scope of education.
The subject of the poem decides upon the course of his life and studies only that. Outside of that area, the student fails miserably. The school then refocuses the education of the student--in a very limited scope again.
Erskine is repeating the fact that schools limit the education of students; they do not educate them on a global level to allow them to succeed in many different aspects of life.
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