Model Answer - IELTS (Task 2)

In some countries it is thought advisable that children begin formal education at four years old, while in others they do not have to start school until they are seven or eight. How far do you agree with either of these views?

Although there are laws in each country that dictate the number of years a child needs to spend in formal education, the starting age is a decision taken by parents mainly with the child’s best interests in mind.

When a child is four it has just begun to learn how to become independent and carry out basic functions on its own such as eating, speaking in sentences and going to the toilet. Even though parents might believe that this is an ideal age to begin schooling, children this young might not be ready to face the challenge. Parents might want their children to get an early start but their children may find it difficult to learn literacy skills so young. In addition at four, children would like to be at home with their family.

On the other hand the age of 7 is what is usually appropriate for children. They are ready to be part of a group, mature enough to make friends and are full of energy and bright ideas. They are also able to grasp pencils better and acquire basic skills. Having spent enough time in their home environment, school will be an ideal alternative for them.

In my opinion, starting formal education at a later age is better than doing so when you are not ready for it. Although a child will get a head start they will be mature for their age and miss out on having fun at home and spending time with their family.

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS Trainer p. 152
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