Should School Be Mandatory?
I thank my opponent for instigating the debate. I accept, and look forward to an excellent debating opportunity.
I will define the terms as follows:
School: An institution where instruction is given.
Mandatory: Obligated, compulsory.
I will show, in this debate, that some form of school ought to be mandatory for all.
Compulsory education is essential to democracy. In Hong Kong, senior citizens uneducated in democracy are scammed into voting for politicians they don't support. (1) By contrast, compulsory education increased civic awareness in the US: people forced to stay longer at school are more likely to vote, discuss politics and read newspapers. (2, 3)
Compulsory schooling increases general education level so workers can join higher-valued industries (4). Rising wages nudge up consumption and saving, which favours lending and investment. Aggregate demand and national output rise. Also, rising labour productivity increases the economy's productive capacity and long-term output.
Reducing class size can lessen teachers' burdens while creating jobs. Abolishing compulsory schooling will just worsen teacher unemployment.
The elders were trucked to voting stations from elderly homes and told to vote for the candidate number written in their palms. Point being, they fell victim because they knew nothing about political processes. Education fixes that.
Inattentiveness is a problem, but many students do listen, or there wouldn't be improvements in income or poltiical participation. Carrots and sticks also encourage listening.
I never assumed ALL students benefit from education. Forced education increases their likelihood to enter higher-valued industries, vote, etc. - amply supported by correlations in the studies I linked to, controlled for confounding factors.
Compulsory schooling increases income equality (1) and social mobility by developing students' human capital. Kids of parents forced to take more school are less likely drop out (2) - no compulsory schooling continues the poverty cycle. Mandatory education keeps poorer kids in schools, allowing them to move up the social ladder using knowledge.
I don't think beating is good. Stick stood for punishments in general, not necessarily corporal.
CON claims education should be optional because not all people's dreams and ideas require it. Yet he hasn't substantiated this with examples. An education can always be beneficial, regardless of goals. In a knowledge-based economy, no dream can be realised if you didn't, for example, learn formal written communication at school.
Regarding choice, I'll use Taylor's argument. (1) People have goals and desires, quitting school being one, but there are greater desires and lesser ones. One might fear public speaking (i.e. desire not to speak) at the expense of a successful career (greater goal). Someone obsessed with lower goals at the cost of higher ones is irrational. We can restrict their negative liberty to protect their positive liberty to fulfill greater dreams. Kids aren't mature enough to decide their need for education, and we should compel them to stay so they can succeed later in life.
By the way, the reason I wanted to use 1000 characters per argument was to challenge myself and my opponent. We have to find some sort of way to get straight to the point. Again, thank you for this wonderful debate.
Even for a career in sports, you need to learn how to apply to join a team using a formal letter, or understand the usually difficult words used in your working contract. You also need maths to calculate your income and expenses, and game theory may also be relevant to sports. (1) Movie stars can learn about characterisation and capturing the inner world of different people through literature, such as classical plays and novels. Having been to school also allows them to act out school-related characters more convincingly.
My opponent responds to my argument that kids are immatre by saying that adults also make terrible decisions. This is a logical fallacy, denying the antecedent. I said kids are not mature enough to make big decisions. This does not imply that adults are mature enough. Moreover, adults are more likely to make good decisions because of their brains. (2)
I thank my opponent for such an insightful debate and for challenging me to be concise!
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