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Your Reaction to the Idea of Paying Students

Opinions are divided over some American schools' use of money to improve attendance and test results. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

Recently we asked for your opinions about paying students to improve school attendance or performance on tests. Some American schools are doing this.

More of you were against the idea than were for it.

Some people said paying students sends a message that money is the only valuable reward. Steven from China says students should study for knowledge. Money may improve performance in the short term, he says, but we should think about the long term.

Zhao Jing Tao, a college student in China, thought of an old saying. Paying students is like "drinking poison to end thirst" -- trying to solve a problem without considering the effects.

Dinh Minh Tuan from Vietnam says rewards are important because they prepare students for a competitive life. But young children should get things they value more than money, like funny books, pens and film tickets.

There was a suggestion from South Korea that if rewards are necessary for learning, they could be gathered like a charity fund. This money could be used for a project designed by the students.

Francisco Mora from Colombia says the city of Bogota pays parents, so children do not have to work until they finish their basic education. This, he says, has increased the attendance in public schools.

Teresa Finamore wrote: "I am an Italian teacher of math and science for students from eleven to fourteen. I think that it is wrong to pay students. Each student has to understand that going to school, he gets a wonderful opportunity to live better in the future and also in the present."

Nelly Constant in France wonders, if young people get paid for studying, what will they expect from a job -- a rocket to the moon?

Sergio Fernandes from Brazil says paying students is not realistic. But Camillus Chiemela, a Nigerian living in Germany, feels it will help to improve the education system. Students' expectations will be much higher.

Naval from Russia also says yes to the idea: "We should at least get something for our time wasted. Because in my country students pay money to go to school or get good grades from teachers."

And Lucy Ding from China says most Chinese students work hard for two reasons: their parents' expectations and pressure from teachers. She says getting rewards will become a custom that will get students to work hard for themselves, for the things they hope to get.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach and online at I'm Steve Ember.