Some children find some subjects such as mathematics and philosophy too difficult to learn, so some people argue that those subjects should be optional rather than compulsory. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Mathematics and Philosophy seek to find the truth behind the underlying workings and meanings of Mathematics and Philosophy seek to find the truth behind the underlying workings and meanings of the universe. Mathematics teaches the formulation of proofs and concepts and Philosophy teaches the theoretical basis of our social organisation and social relationships. It is difficult to agree or disagree with the entire statement. I believe that maths should be compulsory in schools even if students find it difficult but philosophy can be made optional. A number of arguments surround my opinion.
Mathematics should be a mandatory part of school curricula because maths is the basis of all other subjects. Children need to be taught numeracy from early childhood. The knowledge of maths makes children smarter as it teaches them to think critically. If maths is not taught then the phobia some children have of maths will be even more pronounced when they are older.
Secondly, if maths is studied in school, then it opens doors to many interesting subjects and careers. Many good universities and colleges in Canada and USA, require the knowledge of maths till Senior Secondary level. Many high paid jobs require analytical thinking which only those children have who have a good mathematics base. Therefore, maths should be compulsory in schools. The onus is on the teachers to make it interesting for the students.
Coming to Philosophy, it can be made optional because school children are too immature to learn about the complexities of human relationships. They can learn such social skills from parents and teachers in an informal way by just observing them. Philosophy, as a subject, would be too boring and would only add to the burden of the students. As it is, today’s children are over-burdened with tough academic subjects to make them competent enough to be a part of the global village of today. So, only those who are really interested to study philosophy should be given the option of studying it.
To conclude, it can be reiterated that maths should undoubtedly be compulsory but philosophy should be optional as maths is needed to survive today in this era of technology where as philosophy can be left for college or university studies. That is why, perhaps, in our Indian school curricula, maths is compulsory but philosophy is optional and that too in the senior secondary classes.