Our students Alica SAKMAROVÁ and Boris FOCKO took part in English language competition in public speaking called Speaker´s Corner. The competition took place in Žilina. We would like to thank them for representing our school. Here is the presentation of Alice:
Secondary school students should be allowed to choose the subjects they want to study
This topic, even though is not so controversial, has been on for many years in countries all over the world. Some people believe, that subjects should be chosen for children, others think children are the ones who should choose. In my point of view, allowing so is only beneficial for students.
There are 3 types of secondary schools here in Slovakia. Two of them specialize mainly on mastering the craft or profession where higher education is not required. Then, there are Secondary Grammar Schools, gymnasia, as we like to call them, mainly chosen as a „stepping stone“ for students wishing to become doctors, lawyers, or politicians. Their attendance only implies to lack of options given to students at this age. Yet Secondary Grammar schools are still the best facilities for them to prepare for university. But what if we can do better? Nowadays, student choosing this type of school is not necessarily unaware of his own future, as he might be few years ago. There are technologies, helping systems, skilled people around you, willing to advise young students in their decisions. We have already given option to choose to students with, let’s say, not so high academic ambitions. Should this be rejected for others?
I see other notable fact in research published by French university I read few weeks ago. Among other things, it involved rankings of countries with highest rate of unhappy students. Not surprisingly, Slovak Republic was in top five. This kind of studies may not always be 100 percent accurate, but conversations in my class determine that to be true enough. Even though we can partially select two or three subjects in our school, we still end up spending time trying to learn information only one in thirty of us will actually use in future life.
I believe that the key word in this topic is the word „allowed“. Secondary school students should be allowed to choose the subjects they want to study. That means, if you are fifteen and you are still not sure what to do with your life, it is perfectly okay to continue without focusing on any specific field of study. In one year you may know better. But there should be always a chance for you to choose.
United States of America has, in my opinion, precise attitude, when it comes to choosing subjects according to students will. Pupils at very young age are already choosing what they want to study. This gives other countries large space for criticising such behaviour. Another fact is, USA has the highest number of laureates of Nobel Prize. Needles to say, Slovak Republic is not even on the list. Why you should know unnecessary theorems from physics, when you could be number one in Medicine? Choosing your own subjects may provide so.
My father used to say: „All you really needed to know you have already learnt in kindergarten“. I find this true enough to think enabling students to remove subjects they won’t going to need from their schedule soon enough may help not only them, but our country as a whole. Helping Slovakia to get higher in rankings other than the ones naming unhappiest students in the world.