Friday, October 16, 2009

Paying Students To Attend School?

Usually I am a person who is all for alternative ways to get students to study. To me, the most important part of a student is to study. Uniforms, moral education etc; everything else is secondary.

However the idea of paying students to go to school and get good grades is a step too far for me. Now I know parents bribed their children all the time (more pocket money if you get As; I’ll buy that Xbox if you get good results) but state-sanctioned bribery is just a step too far for me.

In France, there is a pilot program that is paying certain students, the ones considered most likely to fail and drop out, to attend classes and get good grades. The idea is that if the student maintained a good attendance record and reached performance targets agreed upon with their teachers, reward payments will be added to their class account which will then be used to finance a school-related project like a class trip abroad or even driving lessons to obtain a driving license.

Now I understand the French government's desire to increase the students’ motivation for good grades but for the government to actually pay the student to attend class and get good grades is just too much for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this scheme could work. Money talks no matter how young you are, but a financial motivation scheme is just plain wrong no matter how successful the scheme is.

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