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The Contender
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Do we still need schools?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 846 times Debate No: 48240
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




With the development of the internet I am wondering if children still need to go to school to learn. Everything they will ever need to know and more is available to them 24 hours a day. They can learn what they want, when they want and with out any hidden curriculum!


Indeed we do need schools. It would be very difficult for any student to be able to pick up, for instance, a science book and just understand it all without the equipment needed to observe, eg. microscope. And also to understand all the text by themselves would be highly unlikely. It is why one cannot study to be a doctor via post or online. You have to attend classes.

At which age would you feel school should stop?

No child can teach themselves to read and write. Most parents work. The quality of the learning and the time period of learning may be influenced too if left to the student and parent alone. It's not impossible but it could jeopardize the standard of education children get, as not all parents are even remotely qualified or have the time.

Given most children's lack of discipline, leaving it all up to them may not be a good idea. For one, they may never learn or have the desire to. School helps with the teaching of discipline. School also has group activities where kids learn to socialize.

Here's an article regarding consequences of kids not going to school for interest.

When you leave children to do what they want, when they want - it becomes a great problem for the child and has negative consequences in the end. The internet also has so much information, how does a child know where to start or end. Not everything on the internet is accurate information.

School classes are structured to allow for the child's age, what they can process etc.
Debate Round No. 1


First of all I would like to say that your knowledge on this subject is far superior to mine. I am not against schools and in fact i think at the moment there is still a need for them, nor am I suggesting that we close all schools tomorrow, but I am very interested in the way the future schools or education might look. I have just finished reading the ideas of Ivan Illich and found it to be quite inspirational. It"s the first time in my life I have even thought about the possibility of a society without schools. I am not sure I agree with everything he had to say but it did make me question some of my fundamental believes.

Unfortunately only let you choose "for" or "against. A "sit on the fence" option would be good!!!!

What I am questioning is that fact that the schooling systems seem very outdated. There are now so many possibilities for children to learn and find any information they need, that I wonder whether the knowledge they learn in schools is still as necessary as it used to be. A child can learn things when and if they need to know it at the touch of a button, whether it be on a mobile or on a computer.

I am sure more children could be taught the advantage of learning if they were always gathering information on things they were interested in. Why should all children be taught the same things at the same time when every child is unique??

Maybe we could have centres, where people were free to come and go when it suited them, or their families, rather than schools. It could be a place where students could come to learn with the guide of qualified, experienced people who could help them acquire the knowledge they wanted rather than what a government thinks they need to know.

With regards to socialization, i agree that this is very important part of growing up, but again, a place where children were free to play and explore without the rigidity of a school could be organised for that purpose alone.

This is my first debate, as you can probably tell, and I am studying to be a primary school teacher at the moment, so the last thing I want is get rid of the school, but I am wondering if there is a better way for the children of the digital revolution to learn, with more freedom and more things that will interest them. Whether this will leave room for a school I am unsure!


Thanks for the response. To comment though, I think the sit on the fence subject may have been if you posted in the opinions forum as the debate obviously only allows either or as debate. That being said, there are no rules as to what you can debate and there is no harm if you feel there should be no schools in time. This to me is all friendly debating even if due to time constraints I just post directly.

Well if you studying to be a primary school teacher then clearly you see the value of schools and teaching otherwise you wouldn't study it. There's your personal answer right there.

I've basically said all I really want to say in my previous comment, so without repeating myself, I think I have given extensive enough answers on the subject.

Children and adults are free to gather knowledge as they wish and how they wish by use of internet and mobile. There is really nothing stopping them. Further education is also already available on the internet etc. I think we need to define your meaning of 'no schools' a little more perhaps because like I say one can even do Matric online today. Basic school at a young age at least until Grade 9 to me would be highly important for reasons of discipline, social skills and having general guidelines, being able to ask questions, do projects and get help etc. I think the general help one gets and the opportunities to grow and see who you are and want to be is best learned at school. Even sporting and other activities in a school environment plays a very important role. And what about leadership qualities one learns, and how to practice debates as a sport at school? Getting an opinion on talents and school work is just as beneficial.

Maths would be very difficult when studying alone and so would computer science be without have a tutor or classmates in my view. And I guess the main thing is discipline to actually study and not party is a big one! :)
Debate Round No. 2


Wow, what an answer! not much I can say to that right now! Thankyou!

Sorry for posting this in the wrong place, like i said, first time using this site. I will look at the forum and try again there. What I was really looking for was ideas for the future, and to question everything, At one stage in the past people questioned whether education needed to be compulsory and now it is impossible to think of it any other way. Nowadays people are saying we are still teaching children to work in an industrial era when this doesn"t exist. If people don"t question and think of new and radical ideas nothing would ever change.

This is a topic that interests me a lot. Thank you again for you imput.


No worries, I am also new here actually. Anyway my guess is with regards to the debate we done.

As for ideas, I don't think I have any. I agree to the schooling system mostly. What would be great though is if more money was invested for more schools so that they weren't too full and more of a subsidy was offered. Free schooling for all Government schools would be great.

Thanks for the challenge ;)
Debate Round No. 3


teacheresting forfeited this round.


Previous arguments remain same.
Debate Round No. 4


teacheresting forfeited this round.


Wow how long does this go on for!!!
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by WaterTipper 2 years ago
The Internet's not a self-producing source of information. SOMEONE has to put that information up there.
With almost no one going to school while the world still goes on... It's gonna be a sad future if we abandoned school for the Internet.
Posted by connor121212341434 2 years ago
I'm not going to dwell on this too much because I don't need to. I'll start with:

"With the development of the Internet I am wondering if children still need to go to school to learn."

Do you really believe that if you give children the freedom to go home, by themselves, without a teacher, and go on the Internet they will actually use that time to learn? I don't. In my experience, being a student myself, younger (and sometimes older) children don't use their time for educational purposes unless they're made to by a teacher or a parent.

Yes, we need schools!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con essentially concedes in the 3rd round. I'm wavering on whether to give Pro source points, because she didn't really explain the source, nor use what it said (at least to a great extent). I'm going to give Pro 1 point, instead of the 2, for sources.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro arguments, con forfeit and pro actually used a source. As far as arguments go, con seemed to be unsure of his/her own opinion, while pro gave solid logic backed by evidence.