Unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children). To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:

In today’s society, there is a growing emphasis on the importance of giving back to the community and fostering a sense of social responsibility among young people. Some argue that unpaid community service should be a mandatory component of high school programmes, as it can provide valuable learning experiences and instill a sense of civic duty. While I agree that community service can offer numerous benefits, I believe that it should not be compulsory for all high school students.

On the one hand, engaging in unpaid community service can offer students the opportunity to develop important life skills and values. Working for a charity or volunteering to improve the neighbourhood can help students cultivate empathy, compassion, and a sense of altruism. Moreover, teaching sports to younger children can promote leadership and teamwork skills, as well as encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. These experiences can also broaden students’ perspectives and expose them to diverse social issues, thus fostering a greater understanding of the world around them.

However, it is important to recognize that not all students may have the means or resources to participate in unpaid community service. Some students may have family responsibilities, part-time jobs, or other commitments that make it difficult for them to dedicate their time to volunteering. Mandating community service could unfairly burden these students and exacerbate existing inequalities. Furthermore, high school is a crucial time for academic and personal development, and students should have the autonomy to choose how they spend their time outside of the classroom.

Instead of making unpaid community service compulsory, high schools should encourage and facilitate opportunities for students to engage in volunteer work. Schools can collaborate with local charities and organizations to provide students with a range of options for community service, allowing them to choose activities that align with their interests and availability. Additionally, schools can incorporate service-learning projects into the curriculum, integrating community service with academic learning to create a more holistic educational experience.

In conclusion, while unpaid community service can offer valuable learning experiences and promote social responsibility, I believe that it should not be a mandatory part of high school programmes. Instead, schools should provide students with the resources and support to engage in volunteer work, while respecting their individual circumstances and priorities. By doing so, we can empower students to become active and compassionate members of their communities without imposing mandatory requirements.

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