IELTS Essay: Are schools providing specialized training better than those providing general education?

The following essay question was asked on an IELTS test recently held in Australia.

While some secondary schools provide general education in a range of traditional subjects, others offer specialized training in a few subjects. Which approach is better for children and why?

 
You can spend 40 minutes on this task. You must write at least 250 words.

Model Answer
Some schools provide general education in a range of subjects, while others offer specialized training in a few disciplines. Which approach is better? In this essay we will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches before arriving at a conclusion.
Why do parents send their kids to schools? Is it just for making them employable? If that was so, then specialized education in a discipline of their choice would have been enough. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

A school is not an institution built with the sole objective of churning out workers. The purpose of schooling is to turn kids into well-rounded, knowledgeable youngsters. And that is the advantage of studying at a school offering general education in all subjects. Children coming from such schools tend to be more knowledgeable than children taught at specialized schools. They know something about everything and that is better than knowing everything about just one thing. So you might ask: Why should a child destined to be an engineer learn grammar or history? Well, a child may be destined to be an engineer, but learning a bit of grammar will help her to express her ideas better in both speech and writing. A little knowledge of history will help her better understand her country and its heritage. The truth is that general knowledge never hurts.

Does that mean that specialized education is bad or unnecessary? Well, specialized education isn’t bad at all. It improves the employability of a student. But it isn’t absolutely necessary for a child to start receiving specialized education at the school level. It can be imparted at the university level. What’s more, at that point, a student will have discovered where his or her interests are. And then it will be easier for them to make a more informed choice about their career. A student who begins schooling, on the other hand, knows nothing about her tastes. She is more likely to learn disciplines chosen by her parents. This isn’t necessarily good for her.

Looking at both sides, it is felt that schools offering general education are better than those offering specialized education is a few subjects. Not that specialized education is bad, but it isn’t necessary for a young learner.

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  1. October 28, 2011

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