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Is School Really Necessary?


There has been an ongoing debate as to why school is a waste of time, and how much we actually really need formal schooling for so many years of our life. Many people still strongly believe in the traditional view, that school is a vital part of becoming successful in the future and learning basic skills.

At the same time, however, many young students feel as though they take classes that they are uninterested in, and have no benefit for them in the long run, as everyone has different goals, passions and career paths. People are starting to focus more on wanting to learn more concrete life skills, which for the most part, are not believed to be taught in the classroom.

It has been believed traditionally that the only way to properly educate our children is through the standard classroom method. This includes having a teacher speak in front of a group of students, covering a wide variety of the most fundamental topics such as math, science and English. It also means attending school five days a week for most of the day, similar to a full-time job, with assignments and homework to complete outside of these designated school hours as well.

Here are the arguments both for and against the debate of how necessary school truly is.

A student feeling burned out from school.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

What are the Most Common Arguments as to Why School is a Waste of Time?

Many people believe that the school system is flawed, and that it doesn’t teach children necessary life skills. They argue that school teaches children things that aren’t related to their futures, and does not prepare them for their career of choice.

Those who feel that school is a waste of time argue that there is a big difference between education and school, that school is merely a formal system or process that doesn’t actually offer everything that education entails. They believe that schools only expose students to certain select views and ideas, and fail to provide the entire picture of all perspectives that are out there.

Those against the traditional school system often believe that parents should be teaching their children themselves, and that everything that is taught in school could be done in much less time, arguing that school days should be shorter.

Especially since each student learns at a different pace, being taught at home by their parents could prevent them from being held back by other students. The same goes the other way — some children require extra time and attention to learn, and are often rushed to keep up with other students who are ahead of them.

School days are too long, and it can be very hard for children to actually focus for so many hours straight. Children spend most of their childhood years in school, while it’s not always such a completely productive use of their time. Like most things in life, it’s about quality, not quantity, but traditional schooling generally focuses on getting as many hours as possible into the school day.

It is also argued that tests stress students out for no good reason, and that it defeats the purpose of learning and really enjoying the process. Testing students in school takes away from the genuine pleasure of learning for ourselves, and makes it into one big race.

Another argument as to why school is a waste of time is that it measures success on such a structured and rigid method. The fact that everything in school is based on tests and grades gives this false belief that if you aren’t a successful student, then you are a failure. This can be dangerous for children’s self esteem, causing them to believe that they aren’t good enough, and ignoring all of their many other potential talents that haven’t had the chance to be explored and released in a classroom setting.

What are the Most Common Arguments that School is Necessary?

Those in favor of traditional schooling believe that it’s a place that teaches you basic, necessary skills for life. They also believe that education provides opportunity and better choices in the long run for people to decide what they want to do in their careers. Those who haven’t finished school often close doors for themselves in the future.

Those in favor of learning in a classroom setting also see it as a vital place for social development, making friends, establishing connections and learning social skills that are needed to be successful later on in life.

Not only do they argue that school provides training for social skills, but also for a variety of skills that are important for our adult lives that can’t be found elsewhere, such as critical thinking, working in a team, time management, and how to concentrate for several hours at a time.

School is seen by many as a chance for children to explore a variety of subjects in order to understand what they are interested in, and what kind of path they want to pursue in their futures.

School children socializing and laughing together in between classes.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Is School Really a Waste of Time?

If you’re trying to find the answer as to whether or not school is truly necessary, that’s up to you to decide. Why school is a waste of time vs school being a vital part of growing up has been an ongoing debate that is completely based on your own individual beliefs. We have yet to come up with a solid conclusion as to what they best way to go is — although society does put a big emphasis on traditional school still.

Perhaps it could be done better and more efficiently. Schools could, for example, have more goal-oriented programs that are less time consuming. School days are too long for many students, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that school should be taken away completely. School hours could perhaps be shortened in order to be more effective, and allow children to have more time to focus on what they are truly interested in and learn in a variety of different ways.

Students could be provided with more opportunities within the school system to get more hands-on life experience with different concrete programs implemented. Parents too can try to be more involved in their children’s schooling, making sure that they are getting the most possible out of school.

If a child already knows the direction they wish to take and what they are interested in, parents can consider putting their child in a specialized school with a more specific focus. Basic schooling is required for higher education, which provides more career opportunities and opens more doors. But again, this is entirely dependent on what you want to do later on in life, and what other kinds of educational opportunities you have open to you.

For those that may feel as though traditional schooling is a waste of time, online schooling has become a new and increasingly common way to achieve a degree. The University of the People is a tuition-free online university that offers highly accredited degree programs, offering a great alternative for those that either don’t want, or are not capable of spending the majority of their time in the classroom. A degree can now be achieved at your own pace and without having to actually physically be in a class setting, allowing students to study remotely and choose their own schedules.