The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Should school be compulsory for all children?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 645 times Debate No: 76800
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




I would say going to school should be compulsory because there one can learn and gain a lot of knowledge while also meeting and interacting with new people


Thank you to the PRO side for instating this debate, I anticipate an informative and fun discussion. I assume there is no acceptance round, thus I will proceed to deliver my rebuttals and arguments directly starting this round. I ask for both sides of the house today to not bring out new arguments in the final round, and to abide by common etiquette. Allow me to define a few terms and the burdenso of proof of both sides seeing that PRO has not done so.


School: An institution for educating children [1]
Child: A human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier [2]


Pro must establish that school is the best option for serving the purpose it is designed to serve by justifying that making it compulsory does more good than harm and that there are no alternatives that are more effective in doing so
Con must establish at least one of the following: that mandatory schooling is more detrimental than beneficial, and/or that more effective alternatives exist.


R1) " can learn and gain a lot of knowledge"

First off, PRO has not provided any evidence or background explanation to justify this claim, and has propped up his hollow assertion on the fact that all schools educate in the form of teaching them knowledge. There is a fine line between a school teaching said knowledge, and the students learning and digesting this knowledge which is the ultimate goal of a school - to educate effectively. Even if we assume that one does in fact learn and gain a lot of knowledge from schools, this is still an invalid point. PRO has not laid down any criteria to measure the legitimacy of making school compulsory, so there is no intrinsic value to this statement unless PRO decides that the criteria should be the performance of schools.

R2) "...meeting and interacting with new people"

This is another baseless assumption, and even if this is presumed to be true, it has no contributory power in the absence of a solid criteria.


P1) Freedom of choice

In today's debate, I openly acknowledge the benefits of school and the potential that a good educational institution harbours for its society. However, there is a fine line between the good that a school can bring and the necessity to make it compulsory, which is why today, instead of arguing about how school in general is bad, I will talk about the implications of mandatory schooling.

There is a large chasm between concept and implementation that needs to be bridged to ensure that all the good points of school come to fruition and that a school can successfully fulfil its purpose of educating chidren. There are two overlapping premises in which this chasm cannot be bridged:

1. The implementation of the school is done poorly (i.e. bad curriculum, unqualified teachers, insufficient resources)
2. The parent/student does not wish for the student to be enrolled in a school for whatever reason

Should any of these two scenarios take place, the parent and student are graced with the option of opting out of traditional schooling and pursuing other forms of education (i.e. homeschooling) that they deem fit instead. The aspect of choice here is crucial due to the fact that it enhances the flexibility of educational infrastructure by allowing parents and students to choose a medium of education that is best tailored to their conditions and their needs, thus ultimately working towards the goal of more effective and inclusive education for children.

The 'freedom of choice' system is also superior to making school compulsory for other reasons too. Firstly, PRO has not defined a geographical scope for this debate, hence I assume that this debate concerns all countries and regions on Earth. There is no universal standard as to what is the best form of education, and there is a lack of consistency in terms of the quality of education between different countries as well. For instance, Asian countries tend to lean towards compulsory education as they favour drill-styled and rigorous education and also because they perceive education to be an asset and a privilege rather than a given. In contrast, Western education, particularly American education, is undergoing a completely different transformation whereby the curriculum is not standardised but rather oriented around the child, thus the inauguration of homeschooling and the IB (International Baccalaureate). With that said, it is virtually impossible to enforce compulsory education and accommodate for these differences at the same time. Hence, the availability of choice is the only way where quality education is made possible while accounting for these differences.

in addition, the 'freedom of choice' system is vital because it puts some of the responsibility of moderating a child's education back into the hands of the parents. Too often are parents clueless about what their child is learning at school as well as any academic or social problems they might encounter. Studies show that only 22% of American parents are capable of identifying signs of learning progress and less than half of all parents have a good idea of their child's school's academic performance in relation with other schools. The aspect of choice is vital since it encourages parents to take on a more active role in their child’s learning, as they will need to understand their child’s needs and take into consideration the extent to which they are able to contribute to their child’s education when choosing between traditional schooling and other forms of education. Fundamentally, balanced input between the school (or other educational institutions) and parents creates a double safety net and fosters a more wholesome atmosphere for the child to learn in.


To conclude, I have rebutted all of PRO's main arguments thus far and have proven to you that making conventional schooling optional is a win-win situation is a more effective way of achieving optimal education for all children regardless of the cultural and social context they are placed within. I will be addressing my other BOP of 'more effective alternatives' in the next round, and eagerly await PRO's response. Thank you.


Debate Round No. 1


Hey Con you have put forward a good argument. I love debating when I have a good match...

So to say , Con puts forward the "freedom of choice" where Con assumes that home schooling matches up with normal schooling. At school one can learn to compete, learn the harsh rules of the world, shape up mostly to be good people. At home schooling , sure it is an alternative but not an effective ones.
1. Cost- Parents may face financial drawbacks since since on of the parents need to stay back at home. Overall income if both parents are working is reduced. Sure working from home is an option but pay is less.

2.Criticism- In some countries(Asian mostly), home schooling is looked down upon and thought as an escape to school. Home schooling student is mocked by several friends of his/her community.

3.Finding the best resources- In schools , students are recommended by the school about their study material. For home schooling , a lot of study material is suggested . Choosing the wrong study material can hamper students career.

4.Isolation- Student feels isolated in his/her society as being the black sheep in the colony of white sheep!! It is very difficult to find others who also home school. Student regrets his/her decision for home schooling.

By this one can say that home schooling is not an ideal alternative to proper schooling.


To conclude, I have made it clear that home schooling is not an alternative to proper schooling. Also I would like to point out that the last source which Con has provided is no longer available. I would request Con to provide me with a working source,


I have also interviewed my friend who is currently home schooling.

I eagerly await Con's response
Thank You!!


Thank you to the PRO side for their arguments! To all audience members and potential voters, please note that I have posted the functioning link for my [3] citation for the previous round in the comments section as PRO has pointed out.

PRO has misinterpreted my argument on freedom of choice and this debate as a whole in two ways:

1. PRO assumes that this debate is about comparing how 'good' public schooling is in comparison to homeschooling.
2. PRO automatically presumes that as CON, I take on the role of upholding the legitimacy of homeschooling.


If PRO intends to compare public schooling with other forms of education, in this case, homeschooling, then he/she should have worded the debate motion to be something along the lines of "School is better than homeschooling.", which is evidently not the case with this debate. For PRO to win this debate, he has to prove two things:

1. That 'better' equates to making something compulsory, and,
2. Establish a criterion for what 'better' even is in the first place (i.e. academic performance of school, students' attitude towards school)

Both of which I have identified and addressed in the previous round and have been ignored by PRO.

The takeaway from my entire argument concerning freedom of choice should have been that it should not matter whether public schooling or homeschooling or any other form of education is the 'best', because for starters, it is difficult for anyone to definitively rank them given that they have different standards on what is 'good' for them based on their economic and cultural premise. Contrarily, the freedom of choice framework caters to a wider audience in a more flexible manner by allowing the families themselves to decide what is best for them. Compulsory schooling is fundamentally a governmental policy and it makes no sense to delegate the task of deciding what's best for individual families to the government instead of the families themselves.

Families who's standards and values are parallel to that of PRO's and believe that traditional schooling is the right way forward are more than welcome to enrol their children into conventional schooling institutions. But for those who believe otherwise, PRO's approach of making school compulsory does not attend to their preferences and needs. To put this in perspective, a restaurant does not make the executive decision of restricting its culinary options to one dish just because the head chef believes it is the 'best' dish in the eyes of the average customer, that choice is obviously to be made by the customers themselves.


I have never once indicated in my previous round that I would fulfil my role as opposing this debate motion by substantiating the benefits of homeschooling. To reiterate, I have clarified at the very beginning that this debate should not be an exchange of words over which one is better, nor have I hinted at my choice of homeschooling as a way of rebutting the idea of compulsory schooling. I have mentioned the word homeschooling twice in my previous argument, both of which were me using them as examples of alternative schooling that families may consider to be better options than traditional schooling, not what I would consider to be better.

PRO seems to have misunderstood my burden of proof clarification. When I say that he/she has to prove that compulsory schooling does more than harm, I am asking that he demonstrates that the nature of traditional schooling when made compulsory does more good than harm rather than do so for just the individual entity of 'school'.


Speaking of burden of proofs, I will now proceed to fulfilling the shared burden of proof of alternatives, or in my case, proving that there are in fact more effective alternatives than traditional schooling. This is so that even if we disregard my previous arguments and go by PRO's argumental trajectory that this debate is about comparing different educational systems, traditional schooling is still an unsound decision.

It is estimated that there are over 2 million children currently being homeschooled in the States alone [1]. Many cite reasons for homeschooling including the following [2]:

1. Desire to deviate from traditional curriculums that said parents view as substandard and under par
2. Homeschooling offers the opportunity to personalise the moral and religious values that parents want their kids to learn
3. The child has special needs that are often not attended to by the government

As one can see, the chief reason behind why so many parents are fueling the homeschooling movement is because of its flexibility and ability to be customised - a shared characteristic between all three reasons listed above. This echoes my 'freedom of choice' argument that flexibility does wonders.

PRO has not explicitly defined a criterion for what exactly is 'better', hence i will designate the criterion to be all aspects of a child's wellbeing and performance. Collective data from multiple studies show that academically, homeschooled peers perform better than approximately 80% of their traditional schooling equivalents, and also clock in higher GPA figures and higher graduation rates irrespective of economic background. Tests aside, children who are homeschooled outshine their peers in school subject-wise, as evidenced by this photo on Google drive ([1]. Homeschooled children are also proven to have better communication skills, daily living skills, socialisation skills and a higher level of maturity. In other words, homeschooled kids are more developed academically, interpersonally and psychologically [1].

Now to rebut PRO's arguments against homeschooling:

"Parents may face financial drawbacks"

This concerns the conditions and context in which homeschooling is performed within, not homeschooling itself. Even if we put that aside, we see that financial aspects do not play an active role in the efficacy of education, as studies show that families with incomes ranging from less than $35K to $70K US dollars or more scored virtually the same on a series of standardised tests [1].

"Asian society frowns upon homeschooling"

This point has no validity as it does not cohere with my justifications in addressing this matter. As I have said, if families do not like the idea of homeschooling and wish to pursue traditional schooling, then they are more than welcome to do so under my model. My model does not restrict them from doing so and hence this point does not echo any part of previous arguments.

"Parents may make mistakes in deciding on what they think is best to teach their child"

Once again, this is an external factor of homeschooling, and does not concern the nature of homeschooling itself. Parents have shown to produce equally high-achieving students regardless of their qualifications and educational history [1].

"Homeschooled students might feel disconnected from society"

A study in 2003 showed that 71% of home school graduates are active in their respective communities via their participation in community projects and sevice activities, in comparison to the 37% rate of the general population [3]. This shows that one can simultaneously choose homeschooling and be integral with society. It is a matter of choice and personal discipline, and not the fault of homeschooling.


To conclude, I have proven to you that PRO has missed the objective and the point of the debate, thus his arguments against homeschooling are null and do not possess intrinsic value. Even if we ignore that, I have proven that public schooling is still second to homeschooling on a comprehensive basis. Thank you and I await to PRO's response.


Debate Round No. 2


I formally accept my defeat and withdraw from this debate.


PRO has accepted defeat and concedes the debate and his stance. I thank PRO for such a heroic display of healthy competition and honesty, and I ask that no points be deducted off of PRO in terms of conduct on this basis.

I was the only side of the house to uphold my BOP and deliver arguments that were relevant to the motion, and have rebutted PRO's points which were done so with no resistance from PRO. Therefore, this motion must fall and I rightfully take this debate. Thank you to PRO for his contributions to the debate and any audience members and voters!
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by alexsam 6 months ago



Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
@cathaystewie: Upload it to an album (you can find your albums in your profile page) and copy/paste the pic directly in your argument.
Posted by Aragon 1 year ago
Gosh ... Sorry I posted it twice . Con its no problems. At first I thought that school should be mandatory. But looking at Con's arguments, my eyes are now opened in many ways. Firstly This was my first debate and I didn't know anything about an acceptance round nor i knew how to put forward my points or to say thank you every argument. Sure I still prefer schooling but even homeschooling is not a bad idea. I believe that the debate goes to Con. I accept my defeat because I dont have any arguments left. Sure I could go on arguing as I do at WhatsApp, but not here. I am proud to be defeated by someone who has way more experience than me. Sure you have taken my case but its how you learn to get up and back. Dont think you have won .... I will surely come back with more debates and maybe win.
Thank You Con to be my first opponent.
And yeah, to all you voters out there,whoever is thinking I'm a coward.......Bro when one loses its good manners to accept defeat rather than to be shamefully down-faced in public.
By the way Con, can i get your email so I can take tips from you from time to time???????Please?????
Posted by Aragon 1 year ago
Yea you sure are a master debater CON. Give me some time to deflect the missile thrown at me.
Posted by Aragon 1 year ago
Yea you sure are a master debater CON. Give me some time to deflect the missile thrown at me.
Posted by cathaystewie 1 year ago
Apologies to PRO, I couldn't make sense of how to post a photo onto my argument so I had no choice but to include it as a separate link. Sorry if this comes as an inconvenience to you!

Posted by Aragon 1 year ago
Sorry Con i forgot to look at your comments. Thanks for the proper website.
Posted by cathaystewie 1 year ago
How clumsy of me! I forgot to actually locate where the [3] citation is used. The information from the citation is used here:

"Studies show that only 22% of American parents are capable of identifying signs of learning progress and less than half of all parents have a good idea of their child's school's academic performance in relation with other schools"

Thank you once again!
Posted by cathaystewie 1 year ago
Apologies, the [3] citation link doesn't seen to be working properly. Here it is again for those who wish to use it for any purpose:

Thank you!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Pro in the final round.