Should children be engaged in paid work?
It is uncommon these days to see children working in a factory or on the street. Some reasons such as family financial need or work experience requirement may justify this phenomenon. However, I think children’s engagement in paid jobs at an early age should not be encouraged due to the risks involved.
Working rather than schooling at a young age may ruin a child’s whole life. It is undeniable that youth is a critical age for knowledge acquisition, which can equip children with skills to earn a living. If a child has to work early without learning a employable skill, they would be unlikely to get a decent career in the future and will have to continue the repetitive and labor-intensive work throughout their life. Additionally, there may be health and safety to be considered for the adolescent’s working early as well. It is an unfortunate fact that many employers would like to hire children just because they are cheaper labor force than adults. Children’s health may suffer from the working environment where little or no protection is provided.
Of course, it is quite true that paid employment enables children to ease their family’s financial burden, no matter how small the salary is. Children may gain work experience and their sense of obligation may be enhanced via doing a job. However, children have other options to achieve these things. For instance, many schools can provide positions in the library or at the front desk for impoverished students. Such positions help students alleviate their financial stress as well as ensure their education. Overall, I think it is not worthwhile to gain a small salary and manual work experience at the expense of children’s education or even their whole life.
In conclusion, since children have many other choices to solve the financial problems and work experience can be gained by doing part-time jobs inside the campus, the priority should be given to a child’s education and well-rounded development. Both parents and the government should attach sufficient importance to this problem, because children’s development will not affect the individuals alone, but will influence the society as a whole.