People attend colleges or universities for many different reasons (for example, new experiences, career preparation, increased knowledge etc.). Why do you think people attend colleges or universities?

People mainly get enrolled in a college or university to achieve the necessary education and degree they require to get a job or to build a career. Having a good career is one of the main reasons people spend their time in colleges or universities but there are other reasons as well. The current society and its educational structures are  far different than they had been a century back when a self-educated person could gain a good career and parents could arrange private tutors to ensure their children’s education. But in today’s world colleges and universities are the authority to declare a person to have the necessary education to be ready for the job sector and without the certification from colleges and universities it is almost impossible for someone to get a good job.

People are going to colleges and universities because this is the most common way of getting the education and they have no alternative as the people of past century had. Most people are learning in colleges and universities and getting themselves ready for the future. The sole purpose of a college or university is to ensure the proper theoretical and moral education to build the ideal citizens the country needs and this is the system which is unquestionably accepted by the society and people. People who do not have the plan to use their certificate to get a job either because they have other career plans or may be blessed with inherited fortune. They go to these educational institutes to learn the values, ideas, knowledge and education they require to be good humans. In fact, education is a borderline between a savage and a good man and this is another reason the society has adopted  the idea of education for all and the colleges and universities are the places to get this education in the current age.

Some people go to universities to get further education to enhance their horizon or to improve their job position & salary. Others go to the colleges and universities to let the world know that they are educated. Funny this may seem but many people simply consider the higher education as the status they require to get a higher position in the society. Colleges and Universities nowadays offer specialised courses like technical courses or creative courses and  many people attend those courses simply because of their pure interests on these subjects or to gain the knowledge they need.

In my opinion, getting the education, learning new things, experiencing diverse cultures and customs, getting prepared for the future career, improving job position, subject matter interests and social status are the main reasons for people to attend colleges and universities.

Successful sports professionals can earn a great deal more money than people in other important professions. Some people think this is fully justified while others think it is unfair. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

As a result of constant media attention, sports professionals in my country have become stars and celebrities, and those at the top are paid huge salaries. Just like movie stars, they live extravagant lifestyles with huge houses and cars.

Many people find their rewards unfair, especially when comparing these super salaries with those of top surgeons or research scientists, or even leading politicians who have the responsibility of governing the country. However, sports salaries are not determined by considering the contribution to society a person makes, or the level of responsibility he or she holds. Instead, they reflect the public popularity of sport in general and the level of public support that successful stars can generate. So the notion of ‘fairness’ is not the issue.

Those who feel that sports stars’ salaries are justified might argue that the number of professionals with real talent are very few, and the money is a recognition of the skills and dedication a person needs to be successful. Competition is constant and a player is tested every time they perform in their relatively short career. The pressure from the media is intense and there is little privacy out of the spotlight. So all of these factors may justify the huge earnings.

Personally, I think that the amount of money such sports stars make is more justified than the huge earnings of movie stars, but at the same time, it indicates that our society places more value on sport than on more essential professions and achievements.

Using a computer every day can have more negative than positive effects on your children. Do you agree or disagree?

I tend to agree that young children can be negatively affected by too much time spent on the computer every day. This is partly because sitting in front of a screen for too long can be damaging to both the eyes and the physical posture of a young child, regardless of what they are using the computer for.

However, the main concern is about the type of computer activities that attract children. These are often electronic games that tend to be very intense and rather violent. The player is usually the ‘hero’ of the game and too much exposure can encourage children to be self-centred and insensitive to others.

Even when children use a computer for other purposes, such as getting information or emailing friends, it is no substitute for human interaction. Spending time with other children and sharing nonvirtual experiences is an important part of a child’s development that cannot be provided by a computer.

In spite of this, the obvious benefits of computer skills for young children cannot be denied. Their adult world will be changing constantly in terms of technology and the Internet is the key to all the knowledge and information available in the world today. Therefore it is important that children learn at an early age to use the equipment enthusiastically and with confidence as they will need these skills throughout their studies and working lives.

I think the main point is to make sure that young children do not overuse computers. Parents must ensure that their children learn to enjoy other kinds of activity and not simply sit at home, learning to live in a virtual world.

Illiteracy has traditionally been viewed as largely a third world problem. However it is becoming apparent that in countries such as the USA and Australia, illiteracy is on the increase.

It is true that illiteracy is becoming a serious problem in industrialised nations. This is surprising as most people think that this is a problem only in under-developed nations such as in parts of Africa and India. Illiteracy is related to many other problems such as poverty, over-population and governmental corruption. Let us take a more detailed look at the causes of this growing problem in many Western nations.

One of the most obvious reasons for the increase in illiteracy is the advent of television. Children no longer have to read to obtain information. Neither do they have to read to relax. Today children get home from school and go straight to “the box” to watch their favorite program. Watching television is much easier and more exciting than reading.

Another reason for the increase in illiteracy is the fact that so many women work. This means that children are often alone at home and so they are unsupervised. When parents get home they are often too tired to spend quality time whit their children.

It is also true that many people blame schools for the decline in illiteracy. In many countries there has been a move away from teaching basic skills such as reading and writing.

There are many effects of this growing illiteracy rate. The most obvious is unemployment. This may in turn lead to alcohol and drug abuse. Ultimately the economy of the country begins to suffer and there is a drop in living standards.

To address this problem, parents need to become more aware of their responsibilities and schools need to consider a change in their teaching methods. If this worsening trend is not reversed, the problem of illiteracy will become very serious.

In a recent survey conducted in this country, it was found that up to 20% of twelve year-olds in some schools were showing early signs of nicotine addiction. In the eighteen to twenty year age bracket the percentage was as high as 70%. A large contributing factor to this high level of addiction is attributed to the uncensored TV advertising of cigarettes. For this reason all cigarette advertising should be banned.

The issue of cigarette advertising is an important one, especially in this country where so many young adolescents smoke. One of the main causes of this problem is peer pressure. Another cause is advertising, especially TV advertising. Smoking, as we all know, leads to a number of health problems such as cancer and heart disease. Many people think that cigarette advertising should not be banned since this would limit our free choice in this matter. However there is growing evidence that this serious problem is getting out of control. Let us examine the facts more closely.

The most important reason why cigarette advertising should be banned is that cigarette is bad for our health. Smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease. Many people also suffer from slow and painful death from a disease called emphysema.

Another important reason why cigarette advertising should be banned is that it costs the tax payer money. People who become sick from smoking have to be cared for in expensive hospitals. In addition their deaths often results in financial problem for their families.

Finally cigarette smoking may lead to another problem namely drug addiction. Although there is not conclusive evidence that this often happens, many experts in this area feel that there is a connection between the two.

Perhaps a solution to this problem is the education of young children concerning the dangers of taking up this habit. Also a heavy tax could be placed on cigarettes so that youngsters would not be able to afford them. In any case, it seems beyond any reasonable doubt that cigarette advertising should be banned.

Counties such as China, India and Japan have unsustainable population growths. In fact many experts are of the opinion that the population ‘explosion’ which is now a very worrying concern, is the most serious threat to life on this planet. Give some suggestions to address this problem.

It is true that the population ‘explosion’ which has taken place over the last century, is a very serious problem. One of the main reasons for this unacceptable population growth is a lack of understanding about the environment. Over-population is the major reason for water, soil and air pollution. It is also often the cause of starvation and even wars. Experts have put forward many suggestions to address this problem. The following are just a few of these.

The most important weapon we have to fight population growth is education. This should start at a very early age i.e. before children even go to school. TV cartoons and children’s programs can be used to educate the very young. At high school level, students can be taught about the problem more directly. At university level, scholarships should be made available to students who wish to study further in this field. International exchange groups may also help to increase awareness.

Another important means of controlling population growth is to disadvantage people who have more than one or two children. This can be done, as it is in China, by means of a higher tax. Although it is controversial, persons who come forward to be sterilized could be given a sum of money. It may also be possible to make it advantageous for people to have only one child by giving such couples a special tax deduction.

It should also be possible to make contraception devices free to the public and easily obtainable.

This problem is a very difficult one to address but we should make every effort to do so. There are many other problems which are related to over-population such as increasing crime, illiteracy and pollution. So by addressing one problem we would be addressing the others as well.

Governments should make more effort to promote alternative sources of energy. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

It has been known for some time now that a move towards sources of energy which are not carbon-based is urgently required to stop the effects of global warming. In my view, there are too few governments who seem to be promoting the use of other types of energy such as wind, wave, solar and nuclear sources of energy.

Governments at present are too reliant on coil, oil and gas. Although some governments are doing research into the use of alternative energy sources, many are not. Energy from the wind, the sea and the sun does not pollute the environment and is an everlasting source of power. Nuclear power is clean, and although it is not totally unproblematic, it would provide a large amount of energy and dramatically improve the environment. Countries such as France have made good use of nuclear power.

My feeling is that more use could be made of wind power. In some countries, there has been a reluctance to use wind turbines, even in areas which are not densely populated, as some people believe they are eyesores. Personally, I believe they are not only useful, but beautiful as well. Governments should spend more time and effort promoting the benefits of this source of energy and trying to make the public understand the reason for change.

In conclusion, I believe that, if governments forced everyone to have a wind turbine and solar panels on the building they live in, made more use of wave power and built more nuclear power stations, then they would manage to avert the dangers that are seriously threatening the Earth.

School children are becoming far too dependent on computers. This is having an alarming effect on reading and writing skills. Teachers need to avoid using computers in the classroom at all costs and go back to teaching basic study skills. Do you agree or disagree?

Nowadays modern technology has totally changed our approach to study. In many countries students no longer have to copy notes by hand from the blackboard; instead the teacher gives them a photocopy. Rather than messy ink and pen, students present a typed-up copy of their assignments. Their computer even checks their spelling as they go. In fact, some people believe that modern technology does a lot of our thinking for us and, as a result, we are going to lose our ability to think for ourselves.

In my opinion, spelling skills have definitely deteriorated in recent years. So many young people use mobile phones to send text messages where speed and conciseness are more important than spelling or grammar. Some teachers complain that these students take the same attitude toward their assignments.

On the other hand, typed assignments are much easier to read and are much neater. Frankly, I find some notes or texts which are handwritten almost impossible to read. Doctors, for example, have a reputation for illegible handwriting, which could lead to disastrous medical mistakes. Perhaps it is time we focused not on handwriting but on presenting information as accurately as possible.

One advantage of computers is that access to the Internet has opened up a new world of learning for us. We no longer have to wait for a book that has already been borrowed from the library before we do our research. In fact, the Internet can clearly be used to research information in the same way as a library but more conveniently.

On the whole, rather than holding students back, I believe modern technology has actually improved standards of education considerably.

In today’s competitive world, many families find it necessary for both parents to go out to work. While some say the children in these families benefit from the additional income, others feel they lack support because of their parents’ absence.

In the past, a typical family consisted of a father who went out to work and a mother who stayed at home and looked after the children. Nowadays, it is the norm for both parents to work. This situation can affect children both positively and negatively.

Some people think that the children of working parents are in an advantageous position where their parents are able to afford mere luxuries such as new clothes, video games or mobile phones. Proponents of this view argue that children are able to enjoy and experience more from life due to their parents’ extra wealth, for example, by going on foreign holidays.

On the other hand, however, there are those who claim that when both parents work, their children do not get enough support and attention; meaning that the children might not do as well at school because there is no one at home to provide support with such things as homework or exam revision. The absence of a parent at home could make it easier for children to get involved in such things as drugs or undertake drinking.

When I was growing up, both my parents worked and I was always well provided for. On the other hand, I think that it would sometimes have been better if I could have seen more of my parents.

In conclusion, I believe that we cannot change the fact that both parents have to work nowadays. It is not an ideal situation, but if parents make time for their children in the evenings and at the weekends, then the children will not suffer in any way. It must be stated that the extra income generated by both parents working, makes for a much higher standard of living which benefits the whole family.

Recent figures show an increase in violent crime among youngsters under the age of 18. Some psychologists claim that the basic reason for this is that children these days are not getting the social and emotional learning they need from parents and teachers. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

It does seem to be true that parents find teachers have lost the authority they used to have, especially in the eyes of teenagers. They are no longer seen as models for behavior: hard work, politeness and other positive qualities are seen as old fashioned. Many young people have no respect for these qualities or the people who represent them. In fact, I think when young people today are so rebellious that it’s possible that both parents and teachers are afraid to exercise their authority. However, I do not agree that this is the basic reason for the increase in teenage violence.

While I believe it is true that a lack of social and emotional learning contributes to the problem. Other factors are surely involved: economic factors, for example. If a child comes from a poor family and they live in low-quality housing in all undesirable area, this is sure to affect the child, however loving the parents are.

There is also the question of who your friends are. I believe that when you are in your teens your friends have more influence on you than your parents or teachers. At that age, you want to be part of a group, or even a gang, and this might lead to breaking the law in a number of ways.

In conclusion, while I agree that lack of social and emotional learning from parents and teachers is a factor in the growth of teenage violence, I do not believe that it is the only or main cause.

Many people say that the only way to guarantee getting a good job is to complete a course of university education. Others claim that it is better to start work after school and gain experience in the world of work. How far do you agree or disagree with the above views?

It is probably true to say that most people believe that a university degree is the only way to get a good job. I think this is true in certain areas, while in other areas, a degree is not as useful.

To begin with, many people have ambitions to become a qualified professional and there is no doubt that becoming a doctor or a lawyer, for example, is only possible with a degree. Another advantage of graduating from university is that it gives you more choices when it comes to choosing a job. Most employers will be more impressed by a candidate who has a degree than they would be by one who only has high school qualifications because it shows a certain level of intelligence and education, as well as the commitment and self-discipline that is needed In order to study a degree course for three or four years.

On the other hand, there might be some benefit to starting your career early, especially if your chosen field is one which does not typically require a university education. This would apply to somebody who wants to be a car mechanic, or a fashion designer, for instance, who would not necessarily gain anything from going to university. The hands-on experience you gain in your job while others are studying for a degree can give you a distinct advantage. I once read about a man who left school at sixteen and went on to become a wealthy and successful investment broker. He claimed that he had learned all he needed to know by working in his chosen field and that he could not have done any better by getting a degree.

So, to conclude, it is possible to get a good job without going to university. Having said that, some professions, such as the law, require you to have a degree and as stated above a University degree could potentially open more doors when looking for a job.