The Minister of Education, Angel Gabilondo, introduced the possibility of extending compulsory education up to 18 years old. This proposal has generated a controversial discussion in our society.
First of all, I would like to enumerate the advantages of this proposal. The most important is the improvement of Spanish education. In other words, Spanish students will have the possibility to study two years more than they do nowadays.
As a general rule, 16 –year- old students have not decided yet what to do, whether to finish their compulsory studies and start to work or continue studying the baccalaureate. So they would have more time to decide about their future.
There are also several arguments against this option, for example: late beginning of working experiences, bored students in classrooms, overcrowding in high schools, mixture of voluntary students and some who have been obliged by law.
Some politicians think this is a temporal solution in order to reduce young people’s unemployment rates.
In my opinion, this proposal means more than a reduction of unemployed young people. I believe in education so I can see the positive effects of extending compulsory education.
Nobody can deny the favourable connection between education and our society’s improvement. More education means more possibilities, better employment, a more developed society.
There is also another question to be asked, what should the Government solve first, improving the present compulsory education or extending it up to 18?
This question is debated without a general consensus by politicians, teachers, parents and students.