Education plays an important role in our life. However, some people consider it only a necessary step in getting a job so they do not want to go to university after leaving school. “Knowledge is power” as the famous proverb says. It is transferred from generation to generation and comprises different facts, skills and information. Through learning people get knowledge and experience accumulated by their ancestors.
Of course, higher education is not compulsory, but I strongly feel that going to university is very important to everybody. In my opinion, higher education gives great opportunities and opens all doors. Only an educated person can get a good job and be promoted. Nowadays employers demand perfect knowledge. Education helps cultivate skills and provides mental, moral and aesthetic development. Personally, I prefer communicating with an intelligent person who knows a lot of interesting facts and who can share his or her ideas with me.
However, some of my friends say that they do not want to go to university and they would better get a well-paid job soon after leaving school. It will give them an opportunity to get work experience and some useful skills. But I doubt that they will be offered a really good job and that they will be able to succeed without higher education.
In general, owing to education highly industrialized cities are built, new information technologies are developed, important discoveries are made. Without education society would become primitive as it used to be long time ago. To my mind, everybody must realize the importance of education as it is the guarantee of the development and well-being of our society.

Home education is becoming more and more popular. However, some people say it has a number of disadvantages. Most parents send their sons and daughters to school, but some of them choose home education for their children for some reason or other. Instead of going to school children are educated by their parents or professional tutors. Thousands of families in the UK are now practising home-education.
Personally, I think that home schooling is an excellent alternative to traditional education. To my mind, it has a lot of advantages. Firstly, it is very convenient because you do not need to observe school hours, days or terms. Besides, you do not need to have a fixed timetable. Parents can provide a more personalized and adaptable learning environment for the child. Secondly, the family can spend more time together. Thirdly, children who have special educational needs are home educated when school cannot meet the child’s needs. In general, home schooling gives you an opportunity to work on just what you want and when you want.
However, a lot of people are sure that the aim of any educational establishment is not just to give knowledge but to help their learners develop communication skills and team spirit. Children’s interaction with pupils of their age influences their character building. School is not only a place for the imparting of knowledge, but it’s a place for the creation and development of the child’s personality.
To conclude, home schooling has its pros and cons and it’s up to the child’s parents to decide which kind of education is better for him or her. Anyway, parents must provide their children with full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude.

Some people say that online education is an excellent alternative to traditional education. But other people believe that virtual education cannot substitute traditional one. Online education is rapidly increasing thanks to the development of computer technology. It is intended for those who can’t attend classes and communicate with the teacher face to face. Education is delivered via the Internet, multimedia resources or videoconferencing. Teachers and students communicate by exchanging electronic media or in real time.
Personally, I think that online education is especially convenient for disabled people and for those who want to work and receive higher education simultaneously. You don’t have to attend classes and you can plan your day as you want. In my opinion, receiving education online may be rather interesting. Some universities offer online student support services, such as online advising and registration, e-counseling, online textbook purchase, student governments and even student newspapers.
However, a lot of people think that online learning is not as effective as traditional education. Firstly, students don’t have an opportunity to communicate with their teachers and group-mates face to face. If they want to ask a question or to receive some additional information, they have to send an e-mail and wait for the teacher’s answer. Secondly, it is rather difficult for teachers to control students’ knowledge, to evaluate their progress, to appreciate their abilities and to find an individual approach to everybody.
To conclude, I think that online learning is a wonderful opportunity to receive higher education for some people, although computer-based activities will hardly be able to replace practical or classroom-based situations.

Some people think that self-education is not very effective, while others say that it is the only productive way of learning. Is it possible for people to educate themselves without help or support from others? Can self-taught people become famous and successful?
In my opinion, people can learn without schools and tutors. You can read books, speak to educated people or spend a lot of time in libraries or on educational websites. Self-education has a lot of advantages. Firstly, self-taught people are not dependent on others for knowledge. Secondly, self-education can help you to be anything you want to be or to do anything you want to do. Finally, it usually costs nothing and it does not require fixed life style. Many famous and influential writers, artists, architects, actors, musicians and even scientists were self-educated. They thought that working was also learning and self-education was associated with creativity. For example, Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor and writer was self-taught.
However, some people depend on teachers and tutors for guidance. They want someone to help them and to show them the way. Others admit that they are too lazy to choose self-education. Indeed, most people need somebody who will constantly make them study and encourage their efforts to learn. So I think that self-education is only for hard-working, persistent, diligent and curious people.
In conclusion, I would like to say that if we learn the art of self-education, we will have an opportunity to improve our knowledge and acquire new skills whenever and wherever we like. I believe that the options of self-education are very flexible and the opportunities are unlimited.

Some people think that when they don’t go to school, college or university, they don’t learn. Others say that we learn as long as we live. Today a lot of people realize the importance of lifelong learning. In the course of our lives we acquire attitudes, skills and knowledge from daily experience, from family and neighbours, from work and play and from other sources. Lifelong learning means building, development and improvement of skills and knowledge throughout people’s lives and it comprises both formal and informal learning opportunities.
To my mind, when people leave school or graduate from university, their learning continues. It takes place at all times and in all places. Lifelong learning is a continuous process, going on from birth to the end of our lives. It begins with learning from families, educational institutions, workplaces and so on. Social organizations, religious institutions, the mass media, information technologies, environment and nature can also play a role in our learning. I strongly feel that both children and adults need continuous development of intellect and capability. Even elderly people never cease to learn. They can learn a great deal from such activities as art, music, handicrafts or social work. Lifelong learning helps people adapt to the modern life which is constantly changing.
However, there are many unintelligent and ignorant people in the world. Most of them lack willingness and motivation to learn. Some people are not ready to invest time, money and effort in their education or training. Lifelong learning must be self-motivated because people usually take responsibility for their own learning.
To conclude, I think that lifelong learning is extremely beneficial because it helps adapt to changes, develop natural abilities and open the mind. It increases our wisdom and makes our lives more interesting and meaningful.

Some people believe that exams are the best way to check the student’s knowledge. Others are convinced that exams don’t always accurately measure the level of knowledge. Most people have to get through exams at certain points of their lives. But what is the real purpose of taking exams? How important are they and do students benefit from them?
I strongly feel that examinations are extremely useful because they make all students face an intellectual challenge and test their knowledge, skills and abilities. Exams encourage young people to improve their knowledge of the subject and to revise information which has been learnt over a period of time. Students always know that they are to take exams at the end of the term and learn the new material little by little so that they won’t have to cram later.
On the other hand, young people who often miss classes sometimes receive passing grades as easily as those who have attended classes regularly. When such students perform well on exams, it is obvious that they have crammed or figured out a way to cheat. Besides, while for some people taking exams is no big deal, most of us feel stressed. If a student looks confused and worried and can’t answer the teacher’s question, it may be the result of his or her nervousness. Unfortunately, exams cannot determine stress factors and tell honest students from cheaters. But of course it does not mean that exams must be abolished. Though exams are not always the best method of evaluating the student’s knowledge, they have a lot of advantages and help teachers understand whether students are ready to be promoted to the next level.
To sum up, I think that examinations are important because they are a step toward students’ future success.

Many people think that homework is essential for every pupil. Others believe that it is of little educational value and it may have a negative effect on learning. Some people think that homework is rote work which takes up children’s time, without offering any benefit. But others say that though boring, homework is going to benefit pupils later in life.
Personally, I think that homework plays an important role in the pupil’s education. Firstly, it teaches children to be responsible and hard-working because it fosters independent learning. Secondly, homework helps reinforce what pupils have already learnt, prepare them for upcoming lessons and extend what they know. So homework assignments make children learn more and revise the material that they have learnt at school. Thirdly, homework provides an opportunity for parents to participate in their children’s education.
However, too much homework is not good as children also need some time to relax, exercise and play. Homework takes a lot of time and effort. Some pupils sit up and do their homework all night. It is a well-known fact that lack of physical exercises and good sleep leads to stress, heart attacks and obesity. What is more, some pupils do not have good dictionaries, encyclopedias, computers with a good internet connection and parents who can help them. As a result, children have great difficulty in doing their homework and begin to hate it. But I believe that if pupils were not given homework, they would spend their free time having fun or even doing something illegal.
To sum up, teachers need to know what their pupils understand and can do independently. Therefore, they give pupils homework assignments. I am convinced that homework gives you an opportunity to increase your knowledge, to improve your abilities and skills and to grasp new concepts.

Most people think that it is very important to be literate. However, some of them say that literacy is not essential. The 21st century is the age of information and technological advances. However, millions of people all over the world remain illiterate. Even in developed countries a lot of people have low literacy levels.
We live in a society where most people are literate. That is why a person will feel ashamed and ill at ease if he or she can’t read or write as well as others do. As a rule such a person is considered unintelligent and ill-bred. To my mind, people who make a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes and who can’t pronounce words correctly find it difficult to find jobs, even when reading and writing are not necessary for the work. What is more, statistics show that illiterate people are poorer and have worse health.
But in some families children don’t have an opportunity to go to school for different reasons. Such situation is wide-spread in Third World countries. In some families parents don’t read books and never write letters or postcards. Reading and writing don’t play a big part in their lives. Such people make a lot of mistakes when they speak, but it does not necessarily mean that they are stupid or ignorant. They can be good workers and they can have much experience and worldly wisdom.
To conclude, I think that literacy is very important for everybody. It helps us communicate with other people and find a good job. However, the ability to read and write doesn’t make people happy.

Some people are convinced that holidays, traditions and rituals play a very important role in education. Others don’t find it necessary to observe traditions at school. Traditions, holidays and rituals link the present with the past, help pass the knowledge, experience, wisdom, skills, habits and practices of the older generations to the new ones. So it seems necessary to make them part and parcel of the process of studies.
I strongly feel that children, teenagers and young people should know and observe the traditions of their country. Holidays, traditions and rituals help pupils learn more about the history and culture of their country. Celebrating national and local holidays makes young people united and has a great impact on their character-shaping. To my mind, children should also know the origins of some holidays and the way they are celebrated in other countries.
However, some people are convinced that while at school pupils should concentrate on such subjects as mathematics, physics, chemistry or foreign languages. Most parents don’t find it necessary to overburden children with additional information when they have so much homework to do. Besides, they don’t understand how schools can integrate traditions, holidays and rituals into the curriculum. But I think there are many interesting ways to do it. For example, teachers can prepare lessons devoted to some public holidays or local occasions such as celebrations of birthday anniversaries.
To conclude, our future depends on the younger generation and adults must teach them to preserve the holidays, customs, ceremonies, traditions and rituals that have become part and parcel of our existence. We should adopt other people’s experience and wisdom. And it is well-known that holidays, traditions and rituals hold them in full measure.

Some people think that creativity is an essential ability which must be taught at school. Others say that creativity is not very important. Teaching creativity is becoming a topical issue nowadays. But many people still doubt if this ability is essential for modern life.
To my mind, teaching creativity is extremely important because school leavers and university graduates face a lot of challenges in real life. Nowadays employers demand not only perfect knowledge and work experience, but different qualities including creativity. If you want to become a good specialist, you should be able to produce new and original ideas and to use your imagination and inventiveness. Creative people do their work faster and without much difficulty, while a person who lacks creativity does it under pressure, forcing his or her brain. So creative individuals are more likely to succeed, that it why teachers should focus on creativity rather than conventional skills.
On the other hand, creativity is not always encouraged at school. When pupils are given different tasks, they are often supposed to do them following examples and the teacher’s directions. There is too much control at school and too little freedom. Besides, many tasks are not interesting and they don’t teach students to solve problems and to make decisions. If teachers want to develop pupils’ creativity, they should let them make mistakes, experiment, express their ideas and look for unusual ways of problem-solving. Children should be taught to be original. They should also be taught to think, to make suggestions and to rely on personal judgment rather than actual facts.
To sum up, creativity is an engine of success. In my opinion, both pupils and teachers must work hard to develop children’s creativity because it will help them realize the full extent of their own gifts.

Some people say that punishment should be used in class to achieve discipline and to make pupils study hard. Others are convinced that punishment does not motivate pupils to study well. There is still a lot of argument if punishment must be used in schools. Traditionally pupils are punished for poor progress, cutting lessons, lying, untidiness or rudeness. But some parents think that schools have very strict rules and that teachers sometimes demand too much.
Personally, I think that if pupils don’t work hard enough and behave inappropriately, they should be punished. For example, if the pupil receives bad marks, the teacher can phone his or her parents and tell them about their child’s poor progress. As a rule, Moms and Dads know how to punish their son or daughter. Parents can forbid their children to watch TV, play computer games or leave the house during the free time in the evenings. To my mind, it is useful to give pupils some extra work such as writing an exercise or an essay, copying out a paragraph from a textbook, learning a poem by heart and so on. It will help pupils improve their knowledge and it will certainly teach them a lesson.
However, some people believe that any kind of punishment humiliates pupils and makes them fear and suffer a shame. Such people say that it is better to use awards to motivate boys and girls to study hard and to behave well. According to them, good marks or praise show pupils how much their work is appreciated and valued. But to my mind, teachers should use both punishment and awards.
To conclude, there are plenty of ways for teachers to control academic progress and to discourage pupils from breaking school rules. Anyway, I strongly feel that strict systems usually work well.

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