Write about the following topic:
Some people think that secondary school children should study international news as one of the school subjects. Other people think that it is a waste of valuable school time. What do you think?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Sample Answer: [Opinion: Secondary school children should study international news]
The strength and prospect for the global media to shape the views of today’s youth and to educate them are significant. However, while some opine that the global media and international news, as part of education, have no important impact on secondary education, others believe that international news should be studied by those pupils to reap its benefits. This essay attempts to examine the issue by diving deep into it. I believe that international news as part of the secondary education syllabus is important.
On the one hand, global media enriches young people’s understanding of contemporary affairs and enhances their views and perspectives. It is due to the fact that international affairs, as part of education, not only make them more conscious and knowledgeable but also connect global youths on the same platforms. For example, a study run by Oxford sociologists showed that the media heavily influences teenagers’ knowledge of contemporary affairs which has a highly positive impact on making them aware of the world. This awareness makes them global citizens and encourages them to share ideas.
On the contrary, many critics argue that teenagers would be negatively affected by the global media’s focus on negative issues of international events like wars and civil unrest if they are included in their education. This is because exposure to violence often leads to depression and the youths may grow an apathy towards our history and global politics. For example, recent surveys have discovered that despondent teenagers usually cite the dismal state of the world as a source of their depression. Since mental health is an important objective of secondary education, it is, therefore, questionable whether the study of international news would benefit young students.
In conclusion, it is clear that there are reasons for and against the study of news in secondary schools. However, educators and authorities can make it more useful by adopting proper policy and teaching methods, and reap the benefits of teaching young students international news as part of their academic education.
[Written by – Stephen]
Sample Answer 2: [Opinion: International news should not be a school subject for secondary school students]
International news can be a great source of knowledge and information from time to time, but that does not necessarily mean that it should formally be included in the secondary school curricula as one of the school subjects. In this essay, I will try to explain why I have taken such a stance on this issue.
The primary reason is that most of the children from the secondary school level have rather tender minds and hearts, and as such, they will not actually be able to make sense of the many negative and controversial things that take place all over the world on a daily basis. After all, we do not live in an ideal world. Besides, most news media today provide “biased” news which sometimes could not be any farther from truth, and these young children just do not have the required cultural, social, economic and political awareness to penetrate into the biased news, in order to separate the facts from fiction. So, instead of becoming more smart and knowledgeable about the world, in which they live, they will probably become more sad, prejudiced, and confused, if not hostile, about it should they be required to study international news as a school subject.
Secondly, secondary school children already have to study many other challenging subjects, such as math, language, physics, chemistry, social science, history, and geography, and adding one more subject to that list would only create more pressure on those children. And with this extra pressure of study, those children would not most likely have enough time to play and socialise with their friends which are needed to ensure proper physical and mental growth. Finally, it is also possible that these teenage, restless children are getting distracted easily by many of the confusing, complicated and biased news every now and then, so much so that it would actually affect their studies rather negatively.
In conclusion, if we analyse these points, mentioned above, with an objective mind, we will have to agree that including international news as a school subject at a secondary level is not such a good idea, after all.