You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some education systems make students focus on certain subjects at the age of 15, while others require students to study a wide range of subjects until they leave school. What are the benefits of each system? Which is better?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Education systems vary across the world, with some forcing students to specialise when they reach 15, whereas others encourage a wider range of learning. While both systems have advantages, I firmly believe that school students should acquire a broad education.
On the one hand, if students concentrate on particular subjects at the age of 15, then they will be able to cover a lot of ground in those subject areas. For example, if students at this age study only maths and sciences, they will be able to spend all of their school day on these lessons. They will not have the distraction of studying languages or the arts. They will have a good grasp of their chosen areas of study, and will therefore be well equipped to put the knowledge that they have gained into practice. This system thus improves their job prospects when they leave school.
On the other hand, I favour a system in which students study a wide range of subjects throughout their years at school. I would argue that this system is better for two important reasons. Firstly, a broad education is a preparation for life. Schools must encourage youngsters beyond the age of 15 to be interested in all aspects of life, by exposing them to subjects such as philosophy, literature and history. Secondly, studying a range of subjects until they leave school, students have the chance to develop critical thinking, imagination and creativity. They may start to learn how to express themselves through painting, drama and writing, taking up a musical instrument or singing in a choir at school.
In conclusion, although at 15 students may be better prepared for work by concentrating on only a few subjects, studying a wide range of subjects prepares them for life.
Vocabulary from education:
to cover a lot of ground: to deal with much information and many facts.
Example: The history lecture covered a lot of ground today.
to have a good grasp of something: to understand a problem deeply and completely
Example: Children who begin to learn a foreign language in primary school are usually able to have a good grasp of the new language quickly.
Vocabulary from work:
to put knowledge gained into practice: to put to practical use the knowledge that you have acquired
Example: Vocational training courses enable students to put the knowledge gained during their studies into practice.
job prospects: the chances of being successful and having more opportunities at work
Example: People with qualifications and experience usually have the best job prospects.
Vocabulary from the arts:
to express oneself: to communicate some idea or emotion through speech, writing, painting, music or some other form of art
Example: Schools should encourage pupils to express themselves through art, music or creative writing in order to stimulate their imagination.
to take up a musical instrument: to start to learn to play a musical instrument
Example: Schools should encourage all those children who have an interest to take up a musical instrument.
to sing in a choir: to sing in a group of people, for example in a church or public performance
Example: One way that schools can encourage children to enjoy music is to give them an opportunity to sing in a school choir.
to force [verb]: to make somebody do something
Example: The dangers of the corona virus forced people to stay at home.
to acquire [verb]: to obtain something because it is given to you
Example: She acquired a lot of information for her essay on the Internet.
distraction [noun]: something that takes away your attention from what you are doing
Example: I can’t listen to music when I’m trying to study. It’s a distraction.
to expose (somebody to something) [verb]: to enable somebody to discover something by giving them experience of it
Example: The teacher exposed the children to the work of Shakespeare by taking them to see one of his plays at the local theatre.
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