Saturday, 4 May 2013


1.      Many governments in the world spend large amounts of money on art which helps to develop quality in people’s life. However, governments should spend money on other things rather than art. Do you agree or disagree? Give your opinion.
Societies with a heritage in the ‘arts’ have long been considered culturally sophisticated and advanced. However with the recent financial crisis this lavishness and expense should be questioned. Tax payers money has to be spent practically rather than on cultural endeavours. Firstly not everyone in society appreciates art and secondly employment should take precedence.
Art can bring quality into one’s life if you are interested. Amongst a society art-lovers are typically in the minority and other activities such as sport are more popular. Take football for example, across the globe it is obvious that there are more people watching matches in stadiums than looking at sculptures or art. This fact makes it impossible that art can bring quality into a community if the galleries hold little interest for the region.
Secondly the resources diverted to such projects comes from the public and should be spent in a way that benefits them. Commissioning or purchasing art is an insult to tax payers who endure poor high unemployment such as those in Newcastle, UK. This city suffers from historically high unemployment yet the council commissioned a large sculpture called ‘The Angel of the North’. Financing a job creation project would undoubtedly have been more practical for the local community.
To conclude I believe that it is an unjust affirmation that art brings quality into one’s life and agree that the money should be spent elsewhere. This is because art expenditures only benefit a small minority and secondly the expense involved should benefit the majority. Ideally in the future governments will recognise that quality in a person’s life derives from a decent opportunity in life, not a sculpture.

2.      Some people believe that children’s leisure activities must be educational, otherwise they are a complete waste of time.
Do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your experience.

To derive a double benefit from anything is considered a bonus and this is especially the case when discussing leisure activities for children. The idea to fusion both education and entertainment into one activity is a goal of many educators, some would even believe that failure to do this makes the activity pointless. Drawing from examples in Sweden and reviewing games such as Pokemon I firmly believe that all activities should have an educational value.
Leisure activities are a perfect time to take advantage of the receptiveness in a child’s mind, some countries are adamant about this. Take Sweden for example, for various years they have legally stipulated that all children’s toys sold in the country should have some educational value. In addition, for such a rule to be passed it must be upheld by scientific research. Therefore the advantage of incorporating an education element into toys is scientifically proven.
On the other hand, across the UK children were wasting their time collecting and learning all the statistics of each creature on each Pokemon card. If however these cards had been inter wined with more educational data the child could have simultaneously gained a more practical education. Due to the child learning large swathes of irrelevant and useless information it can be argued that the time would have been better spent with real facts and figures on the cards.
To conclude, scientific evidence from Sweden and fantasy games such as Pokemon with little educational value are two clear reasons why children’s leisure activities should have an element of learning involved.

3.      Women can do everything that men can and they even do it better. They also can do many things that men cannot. But there is a fact that their work is not appreciated as men’s although they have to sacrifice a lot for their family, and career… So someone said: ” A woman’s place is in the home. What do you think?

Women and men have had different roles in the community since the beginning. Under modern pretexts these differences are slowly converging. However due to the genetic inheritance and socio demographic components, these differences do exist.
Firstly, men are undoubtedly better adapted genetically to perform physical tasks. Therefore the assumption that women can match men in everything is clearly flawed. The difference between their physical abilities is clearly demonstrated in the sporting arena. Take for example the Olympics, or any international sporting event. It can be clearly seen that these competitions the genders are separated due to inherent differences between the sexes.
Secondly, it has been argued that women are less appreciated in society due to their traditional roles in the home. This statement is true to a certain extent because it largely depends on the society. In certain traditional societies in Africa, females working is frowned upon and is seen as neglecting the family. Whereas in Afghanistan, in general, females are allowed to do little else but stay at home, being a housewife. Consequently a woman’s value is largely dictated by the society, culture and history. Nevertheless to state that her place is in the home is widely considered sexist in modern western societies.
To conclude differences do certainly exist, however these are largely through nature. Also, the role women may have is usually dictated by other factors such as religion or society, not ability.

4.      Improvements in health, education and trade are essential for the development of poorer nations. However, the governments of richer nations should take more responsibility for helping the poorer nations in such areas.
To what extent do you agree?

Undoubtedly governments of developed nations should share the responsibility of helping less fortunate nations. Different measures exist, ranging from market access to direct financial payments or even medical assistance. This essay will explain why certain measures are inherently better than other methods.

Firstly, the most adequate manner to assist the lesser developed countries is not through health or education ‘hand-outs’. This method is flawed and only offers temporary relief from long term challenges, also this assistance can be cut at any moment, leaving the country stranded. For example economical help from the UK to disadvantaged regions in Africa has gradually been reduced since the onset of the financial crisis. Although some parts of the country maybe better educated or in better health the benefit was short lived thus leaving the country to look for other donors.

Commerce is without doubt the most essential type of assistance that can be given. If the lesser developed country has the opportunity to develop trade it will build strong capabilities to serve it for the long term. These strengths can develop the local economy and are more reliable than education or health. For example, while trading with the richer country the government can search for other foreign markets to trade with. This would offer more stability and diversification for the nation.

To conclude, assistance is definitely necessary for the poorer regions however ‘hand-outs’ are short term solutions. The optimum solution is to offer market access so the region can produce products and generate regular income.

5.      Most of the schools are planning to replace sports and exercise classes with more academic sessions. What is your opinion on this change? How does this change will affect children’s life in your view?
The debate between where to allocate valuable teaching resources probably started with the first educational institutions. In present day society the conflict continues and rightly so. In my opinion converting sports classes to more traditional subjects has two significant advantages. Firstly it is a more effective use of a student’s time, secondly in the future, academic skills are more useful.
Switching time spent on sport in a school to time spent on more academic activities is a wise and cost effective solution. Firstly, academic studies are inherently less expensive to perform when compared to physical education. For example, to play almost any sport one has to invest in the appropriate equipment, ranging from shorts, t-shirts to rackets and balls. Furthermore excess time is spent in the changing rooms or washing afterwards. In more traditional subjects, students merely enter the classroom and are learning within minutes.
Secondly sport can be argued as an activity practised naturally by children, especially boys. In every school at break time many children engage in energetic activities, whereas hardly any are studying algebra, biology or physics. Because these subjects are less popular more resources should be allocated to teaching them. In addition, academic skills could be argued as more important due to the small amount of people in society currently using sport skills in a work environment. Thus focussing on skills demanded by the labour market would benefit students’ lives dramatically in the future.
To conclude, young learners going through school would finish much better prepared for life avoiding sport tuition. Furthermore they would have taken full advantage of their school years through more time spent learning.

6.      Crime is a big problem in the world; many believe that nothing can be done to prevent it. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give your own opinion.
Crime is unquestionably one of the most prevailing and worrying aspects in any society and its prevention should be taken seriously. Crime prevention can be executed in various ways, firstly through a sustained honest presence in the community and secondly through international cooperation.
A local presence by incorruptible law enforcement authorities may be costly, however, the long term investment would pay dividends in the future. A safer region would encourage trade, investment and set an invaluable example for younger generations. For example crime has dramatically been reduced in the Favelas around Rio de Janiero in Brazil. This was achieved largely through the government committing large funds of money to stationing police headquarters in and around the slums. These financial expenditures greatly benefited the community.
Secondly, due to the large scale severity and global impact crime has in some areas of the world, global cooperation is critical. Operating in a different way would incur significant financial losses and render any expenditure futile. For example Somalian pirates in Africa have reigned terror amongst many ocean transport companies in the area. Only through large scale international cooperation was policing the area possible. Therefore crime reduction can be attributed to a joint effort between countries.
To conclude illegal activities are a costly and dangerous fact in the present global economy, however, through large scale government investment prevention is an attainable goal. Also spreading the expense through international cooperation the resources invested can be significantly more effective in reducing criminals effectiveness abroad.
Should education and healthcare be free of charge and funded by the government, or should it be the responsibility of the people to pay for these services?
Discuss the above and give your opinion using examples.
A healthy and educated society is the backbone of any successful society, however, deciding who is to provide this is a sensitive topic. I strongly believe the government should be held responsible to provide these services for two reasons. Firstly the entire society benefits and secondly the whole population is currently paying for the services. However, if one prefers extra services they should be prepared to pay for it themselves.
Firstly, education is largely considered a basic right, a population unable to calculate, read, write or even learn would be doomed in such a competitive global economy. Globalisation has increased competition and shifted the emphasis to knowledge, information and science. A state education should therefore be freely available to everybody. However people wish to purchase private education, this should also be allowed or even encouraged. Private education reduces the strain on public services and provides a source of tax revenue for the government, in effect subsidising state education.
Secondly, health services must undoubtedly be available to all because the entire nation are paying taxes and therefore should not be excluded from any service. Take the NHS in the UK for example, this organisation caters for the entire population and no private medical insurance is needed. Unfortunately waiting lists can be long and service is occasionally slow, therefore some purchase private medical insurance for a faster service. This reduces the workload of the public sector.
To conclude, I believe both healthcare and education are basic fundamental rights, necessary for any advanced society and therefore the responsibility should lay with the government. Nevertheless if individuals require more than the standard level they should be prepared to pay for it.

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