1. Reports show that it is increasingly expensive to keep museums open to public. What is the best way to fund them (government, business, individual)?
Most public museums worldwide function mainly based on government funding. However, facing the continuously cost, the sole reliance on the government revenue is barely enough. In my opinion, the optimal solution requires integration of commercial plans and citizens’ diverse forms of contribution.
It is obvious that the stable fiscal allocation should still be the primary source of financial support for public museums. Serving as a main platform to present a city’s cultural identity, preserves its historic heritages and promote its international image, it is justified that museum should be funded by taxpayers’ money. Nevertheless, this does not mean museums should be absolutely free to the public. In fact, the admission can be charged in order to generate an additional income. After all, not visitors are locals. For example, a visit to national museum often is included in the itinerary of a commercial tour package designed by travel agencies for overseas tourists.
Compared with the admission, opening a variety of business within the proximity of the premises might be a more direct strategy to generate more revenue. Selling commodities associated with exhibits, including postcards, books and handicrafts in a souvenir shop is a common approach can be seen in the majority of museums around the world today. Besides, adding catering facilities such as cafes and restaurants could provide extra profits.
What individuals can offer varies from person to person according t their capabilities. Firstly, the donations are not doubt the most straightforward means to contribute. This approach, however, is beyond ordinary people’s abilities due to their limitations in wealth. Participation in some voluntary jobs, such as ticket officer or tour commentators is a more realistic way for most people with a purpose of helping reduce museums’ labor cost.
In conclusion, the best way to fund museums should not be restrained with a single angle. It depends on the combination of adequate government funding, feasible business plans and individuals’ involvement.
2. Nowadays many young people in work force change their jobs or careers every few years. What do you think are the reasons for this? Do the advantages outweigh disadvantages?
Nowadays it is common that people change their jobs after several years' service to the same company. The reasons are multiple and generally I believe it is a positive trend.
It is easy to understand why so many people choose new jobs at certain phase of their career life. First, in this information era when everything is changing rapidly, people are obliged to adjust to the new situations they are in and hence change is inevitable. For example, due to the advanced development of Internet and popularity of online media many journalists who used to work for traditional news agencies divert their attention to digital media or other trade related to Internet and therefore radically changed their way of working. Second, young people who settle their first job without too much thinking will later gradually find their real interest. Once they discover where their passion lies in, they will focus on the new career without hesitation. Often they will find themselves in a better condition, for instance, gaining a more attractive paycheck and working in a more comfortable and productive environment, if they get a clear perspective of themselves earlier.
Although it is unavoidable for people to quit their previously unchallenging jobs in order to get a more suitable one at certain moments of their life, too many job hopping experiences are not encouraged by employers. To begin with, one who changes his job frequently is often deemed as unreliable in recruiters' eyes. On the contrary, those who stick to their trade for years often accumulate rich work experience and win more opportunities for promotion. Besides, sometimes changing one's job means moving to a new place, which can be costly. Making new friends and networking may also be challenging and time-consuming.
In conclusion, as people are groping their way to position themselves correctly during their lifetime, it is understandable that they change their careers through trial and error. However, one must be very prudent before they make a major life decision like switching to a new career and too frequent changes should be avoided. (By Amy)
3. Children's education is expensive. In some countries, the government pays some of or all of the costs. Do the advantages outweigh its disadvantages?
In an era of knowledge-based economy, education for all is a valued concept. The impacts of government funding on children's education have aroused widespread controversy. As far as I am concerned, potential benefits of this initiative overshadow its perceived drawbacks.
Admittedly, there may be challenges if governments offer to pay for all children's educational expenses. For one thing, taking full responsibility for next generation's education is likely to incur an enormous financial burden for governments. In other words, governments are accountable for not only education but other public services, such as public transport, health care, and so forth. For another, it is also possible that some parents will take advantage of this policy. To be specific, people who are not morally aware may take it for granted and refuse to contribute to their sons' and daughters' future development, thus failing to play their roles in parenting.
Nevertheless, governments' engagement in children's education brings more profoundly positive impacts.
First and foremost, providing education for children regardless of their races and ethnicities can effectively foster educational equality. For instance, in many underdeveloped areas of the world, multitudes of parents have to work overtime in order to pay mounting bills. In this regard, if governments share some of children's tuition fees and accommodation fees, this will be a real blessing for families that are economically disadvantaged.
Moreover, under no circumstances should authorities downplay and neglect children's education. A convincing example is No Child Left Behind Act in the United States. By investing a considerable amount of money in supporting elementary and secondary education, American government will, in a long term, promote overall social development and well-being of its people.
In brief, children's education deserves financial support from governments. Meanwhile, it should be borne in mind that educating the next generation is a shared obligation for governments as well as individuals.