GRE Issue Essay 126
College and university education should be free for all students, fully financed by the government.
Education plays an important role in the overall development of a child. For the harmonious transformation of a student into a responsible citizen, education must be made mandatory at least at the elementary level. To impart education to all, it should be made free at school level.
However, making college and university education free may yield adverse results. Students, as they pass high school and reach college are quite grown up and aware of their aptitudes. There may be many who would rather go in for a professional or vocational course. Others may be more interested in business. The ones left out would be genuinely interested in academics. By making university level education free, more and more students would be tempted to get enrolled. This can result in unemployment in future as lesser vacancies would be available for the large number of qualified students. To tackle unemployment, government would have to adopt various methods like entrance exams etc. which are not very reliable in selecting the meritorious and deserving students.
Moreover, due to shortage of appropriate posts, the more qualified ones may have to settle down for jobs that do not honor their capabilities and hard work put in for the acquired degrees. This will not only demoralize the overqualified ones, but also distort the image of university education in the eyes of new aspirants.
College and university education, if made free, will heavily burden the government financially. It will be not only difficult to provide the best of facilities like good libraries, laboratories, scientific and sports equipments etc. but also challenging to pay the hired staff and faculty. In the wake of lesser salaries, less and less people would be interested in joining the faculty. If the deserving candidates would not be paid justifiably, then there will be deterioration in the quality of education imparted. Making education free at university level may also reduce the standards of education as students may develop a laid back attitude and may not feel the necessity to clear the courses at the earliest. This will further deteriorate the standard of education and create a huge backlog of students for the government to entertain.
Apart from the financial difficulty in paying the staff and providing appropriate facilities to the students, there will be yet another challenge for the government to look after the other employment channels.
Although education is a must, there are other skills required too in different fields. If all these skills are explored and promoted well, only then can a nation be more independent financially. The works of handicrafts, interior and fashion designing, sports, farming, etc. are just a few to mention that need the government’s assistance to flourish to the fullest. To be unbiased towards all streams of talent and employment, the government will be under pressure to make all these trainings free as well. This will be a difficult task to accomplish. Thus, making the university level education free will put a lot of economic strain on the government.
Making university and college level education free will be beneficial neither for the government nor for the citizens in the long run. Thus, instead of making the university education free, the government should adopt other ways of channelizing the talents of the youth and also keep a check on private institutions overburdening the students by high fee structure.