Attending classes: required or optional?
Some people believe that university students should be required to attend classes. Others believe that going to classes should be optional for students. Which point of view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.
The most important responsibility of college students is to pursue their course of study to the best of their ability. In most cases, this would mean attending every class. In reality, however, not every student is the same,and not every class is the same. If a student can study more effectively in another way, then that student should be allowed to pursue his/her studies to the best of his/her abilities, and not be required to attend classes that are not helpful to him/her.
Some students find it difficult to concentrate in large lecture classes and find reading quietly a more effective way of studying. If a student can achieve more by reading in the library and meeting with a professor during office hours than students who attend every class, he/she should not be prevented from studying in the most effective way for him/her.
The most important measures of a college student's academic progress are tests. In the weeks before exams, college student's need to arrange their own schedules becomes critical. For instance, if a student is very good at math but very poor at English, it might make more sense for that student to skip math class and spend the extra time preparing for an English test. If students are required to attend classes whose content they are already familiar with, at best they will be bored by redundant material, at worst they will fail tests in subjects they are less proficient in.
The argument might be made that it is the school's responsibility to organize its curriculum so that students are always challenged and therefore truly need to be at every class. I contend that it is impossible to tailor an entire school's curriculum to the individual needs of every single student. The best that can be hoped for is a well thought out curriculum with enough flexibility to handle the differences between individual students. Schools should trust the students to make choices that are in their own best interests, and use testing as the final arbiter of academic excellence.