The Student Room Group

English Language Paper 2 Q5 - Speech

‘Education is not just about which school you go to, or what qualifications you gain; it is also about what you learn from your experiences outside of school.’

Write a speech for your school or college Leavers’ Day to explain what you think makes a good education.

Fellow Students,

After almost two decades of education, we have finally reached the end of our schooling experience throughout this odyssey of highs and lows, persevering through long, arduous nights of studying to experiencing the enchantment of residential trips across the globe, I have never stopped to ask myself, was this worth it? Until now. Could I consider this to be a proper education? Have I changed, developed, and am I leaving this school as a better person? These are vital questions we must ask ourselves as we leave the hallowed halls of our school and leave to enter the daunting prospect of the ‘real world.’

Most importantly, we must consider what truly makes a good education, was it the five, consecutive lessons in a day? Or was it the intermingling with other classmates, the afterschool extracurriculars, or the perseverance we upheld when studying for our exams? After considering this carefully, I realized that school had given me the ingenuity of picking out some sort of learning from every experience within school, whether it be inside or outside the classroom.

I urge you to look at education as a largely, fluid and dynamic process. In every instance there is some education, some enlightenment to be gained paradoxically, that is what a good education teaches you to do. There is no fixed concept of a ‘good education,’ for it is what you make, out of what you have, that makes all the difference.

I’m not going to stand here and delude you by saying our education system is perfect, and that it is all in the eye in the beholder. That’s wrong. I’m a strong believer in that there are things that need to be done, in that schools are killing creativity, and there is a strong issue of certain hierarchies in subjects that serve certain political and socioeconomic agendas.

Now our entire education system is predicated on the idea of academic ability, which has really come to dominate our view of intelligence, because the universities designed the system in their image. If you think of it, the whole system of public education around the world is a protracted process of university entrance. And the consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not capable, because the thing they were good at school wasn’t valued or was stigmatized. And I think we can’t afford to go on that way.

The foundation to a good education system relies on it nurturing the potential in every student, albeit laying the groundwork for a few general life skills. There’s no denying we need great doctors, lawyers and engineers, but we must also reconcile our students with their creative, artistic sides. It relies on providing our students with the footing to have the confidence to change the world. We must celebrate the gift of human imagination and take every step we can to educate our entire beings to change flawed school systems. But most of all, our job is to make something of what we have been given, which is the privilege to receive a proper education at the hands of our dedicated teachers, and supportive classmates.

Thank you.

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