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School Attendance Should Be Voluntary

Should schoolchildren be allowed to choose whether to attend school or not?

All the Yes points:

  1. Many students enjoy and benefit from school, and it is important that schools exist. But for some s…
  2. Children know their own feelings best. Parents and teachers can never fully understand how young pe…
  3. Schools teach everyone the same knowledge, but children are all very different and ‘one size doesn’t…
  4. There are many other ways to learn ‘lessons’ from life. Young people can learn from parents or fami…
  5. It is not the job of the Government to tell people what a good or successful life is. If a young pe…
  6. Schools and teachers are very expensive (often using up to 10% of all the money governments spend)…

All the No points:

Many students enjoy and benefit from school, and it is important that schools exist. But for some s…

Yes because…

Many students enjoy and benefit from school, and it is important that schools exist. But for some students the experience is not so good. Some may be seriously bullied; others may struggle with learning or simply find it boring. Some students may just resent being told what to do with their lives. It cannot be right to force children into a place which causes them so much fear or frustration.

No because…

Schools can and must do more to tackle issues like bullying, and students with learning difficulties. But the children affected by these issues are the ones who need more help, not less. In many cases just one good teacher or subject can change the way a student feels about school and learning. If we let children walk away at the first problems, many students who could have been happy at school will never get the chance.

Children know their own feelings best. Parents and teachers can never fully understand how young pe…

Yes because…

Children know their own feelings best. Parents and teachers can never fully understand how young people feel about school, and schools will have changed hugely since they were the same age. It is the life of the pupil which is affected, and they should be the one to make the decisions about it, not someone else.

No because…

The views of children do matter, but in many cases society is right to leave the decisions to others. Parents and teachers have a lot of experience of life after school, and they are far better placed to make decisions about the future. Many children simply can’t understand all of the consequences of their actions. This is exactly why we don’t punish them as severely as adults when they make mistakes. Children also change their minds and may make decisions they regret later.

Schools teach everyone the same knowledge, but children are all very different and ‘one size doesn’t…

Yes because…

Schools teach everyone the same knowledge, but children are all very different and ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. The lessons and subjects at school are often not necessary for children to be successful when they are older. For example, very few adults do jobs based on history, or art or geography. Children can still learn if they are in charge of their own lives, but instead they can just learn what they need to know or what interests them. This is much more efficient and sensible, especially with internet connections in almost every home to give them access to all the information they need.

No because…

Schools don’t just teach ‘information’, but try to give students a basic understanding of the world around them. How can students decide what subjects interest them if they don’t understand them? And even if students can find jobs when they are older, it is still important that they understand basic ideas about how society works, about their history or about basic science. Schooling creates well-rounded young people who understand their place in the society and the world. This won’t happen if students only learn what they need to get by.

There are many other ways to learn ‘lessons’ from life. Young people can learn from parents or fami…

Yes because…

There are many other ways to learn ‘lessons’ from life. Young people can learn from parents or family members, or do apprenticeships to learn a particular skill. Often, practical knowledge is much more useful than ‘academic’ book knowledge. There are many examples of famous people (such as Richard Branson) who left school at the earliest opportunity but still managed to be far more successful than people who stayed at school much longer.

No because…

It is easy to focus on famous people who left school early, because we have all heard of them. We never hear about the majority of people who quit school and then struggle for the rest of their lives. This is a far more likely outcome though. Also, in the modern world it is far harder to learn one skill and stay with that choice for a lifetime. People today change careers an average of four times in their lives. Children who learn a wider range of skills will have a better chance of moving between jobs when they are older than someone with just basic knowledge in one or a few areas.

It is not the job of the Government to tell people what a good or successful life is. If a young pe..

Yes because…

It is not the job of the Government to tell people what a good or successful life is. If a young person is happy to spend their time on hobbies or with friends, and if they don’t mind having more difficulties with work when they are older, then that is their choice. Many people who spend their lives constantly studying and working end up being lonely, unhappy and worn out. Who is to say that this is a better life?

No because…

Some people may live happily without schooling, but the Government also has to take care of those who cannot find jobs, or need help with things like housing or financial support. These services are expensive, and force everyone in society to pay more taxes. Therefore it is fair for the Government to try and avoid these costs by making schooling compulsory. Governments may force children to study at first, but in the long run they increase the choices of people – by giving them more skills and options for their lives.

Schools and teachers are very expensive (often using up to 10% of all the money governments spend). …

Yes because…

Schools and teachers are very expensive (often using up to 10% of all the money governments spend). This money is wasted when it is spent on children who don’t want to learn, or worse, cause trouble at school and make life harder for other students. Having to provide fewer school places would save a good deal of money, and make schools even more effective for the students who choose to go.

No because…

Governments would find it impossible to decide how much to spend on schools each year if they didn’t know how many students would be attending. This could lead to more wasted money, or shortages if too few or too many students chose to go to school. Also, children cannot just be allowed to roam the streets by themselves all day. This means that some parents would have to leave their jobs in order to be with the children (which would harm them and the economy). Maybe the children would be forced to go to some other place for supervision. If this happens then they might as well be at school.

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rutger
1 year ago

Attendance is not related with Learning – It is not necessary that if a student is attending a class, he is gaining knowledge about everything that is taught in school. Students knowledge can be tested though school’s internal assessments only. Sometimes, students who have full attendance fail academically and who are irregular at school get good grades. The school should adapt qualitative teaching methods to impart knowledge to students.

Otshepeng Babeile
2 years ago

Well I for one really think that going to school should be voluntary. I mean there are thousands of children all over the world being bullied, criticised because of either their body size, appearance, or being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and what are schools doing for those children?. They might preach during assembly or disciplinary hearings it makes no difference to the victim of those hate speeches or crimes. Schools should instead of trying to stop bullying, they should find the root of the problem having counselling sessions with the bullies because you will never know their background if you don’t have the decency to ask about it. You never know if they themselves experience mental, physical, emotional, or verbal abuse in their households. The truth of the matter is schools should not necessarily care about how many A’s a learner can achieve, but look into their wellbeing and self-esteem!

Amy
4 years ago

I currently go to six form and I have read some of the comments, I don’t really agree with the fact that we can’t make our own choices. we have to make the choices that set out the rest of our lives so it’s a bit silly to think we are brainless and can’t make right choices. yes, a few in the world would be dumb given the choice to not go to school but that’s their stupidity and ou can’t really make everyone attend for the stupid few. My reason I would want attendance to voluntary is because I would still want to attend but would want to be able to do other lesson work when we have lessons that we don’t need to attend, such as if you’ve completed the course work or have a supply teacher. It would be good to have the choice of which lesson you go to and not have to see that your attendance is below average and get in trouble just because you don’t want to be forced to go and waste your time doing nothing when you could be productive with your time and do work that actually counts.

lily
4 years ago

I do think that school should be mandatory because if we had a school that was voluntary and the world is like how it is today then there will be a lot more people who would be job less.

Emily R
4 years ago

it is pain stupid to think that people 12-18 can actually think for themselves!! they would most likely make a decision that they will regret in the future! them not going to school will then make them not be able to go to university therefore they may not get a qualified job or a well paying job. With that money they will be able to provide food, a roof and clothing for their families.. if you dont go to school then you will more then likely end up as a farmer but what is that doing to provide things for your family? They would more then likely be self-employed.. therefore not being able to earn money or provide for their families!!!!!

Alex
3 years ago
Reply to  Emily R

Kids do 100% have the right to make choices. To think that they are to stupid to make their own decisions is just ridiculous! And if we as a race keep thinking that kids shouldn’t have the right to make their own decisions no change will be made. because if we keep on making our children the same as us there will be no new ideas since we are basically just making the same person again when we could letting our children become their own person and they will be new, they will have their own new special ideas which could provide us as a race support and ways to fix our mistakes and lead us down a new path much better than the old one! but if we keep going down the same path we are going to end up ruining ourselves and the ones around us in the process!

Tanya
4 years ago

I have two wonderful boys. Who walked when they were 9 months old , were fully toilet trained by 18 months and I could take them anywhere and they wouldn’t touch anything in stores ect. Both attended play groups and pre school without any issues . Primary school was also ok . Neither of them had any behavioural issues and if anything were to well behaved ! Then came high school, where my first son was bullied to the point of depression Nothing was ever done to help him, it was like sending him to a war zone everyday. Eventually he left and went on his own path of adult education and has achieved more in the last 12 months than he did enduring being bullied at high school for 4 years. My younger son on commencing the same High school didn’t get bullied however the teaching environment and the disruptive behaviour by other students caused him to aquire school related anxiety. A very debilitating illness that has impacted his life greatly. He has moved to a non government school which has smaller class size and an adult approach to learning. However the stress of knowing he must attend has contributed significantly on his ability to over come his anxiety. School has contributed nothing but pain and suffering for my boys and I absolutely believe without a doubt that high school in particular created issues for my boys and us as a family that were not there before. I am a stronge advocate for being able to protect your childs well being and their mental health at all costs and that if that means making school a voluntary option so be it. God knows if my boys were able to follow their own path of education they would not be wasting valuable time dealing with the issues that mandatory school attendance has subjected them too.

Steve Prince
4 years ago

I never heard the phrase that THE STATE DOES NOT OWN THE PERSON?
Simply require parents to provide education for their child, easy peasy! And provide public assistance if the parent can’t afford it!
TA-DA!
There’s no NEED for the state to criminalize CHILDREN!!!!
What kind of sick, twisted, Orwellian “Big Brother” empire do we live in?
I was subjected to TORTURE in school, and GREATER torture when I couldn’t stand it! “Oh, you must be mentally ill, and have to go to a mental hospital to be cured so you don’t complain when you’re abused.”

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