Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 7, 2022 01:57 IST

According to an independent poll of 200 charitable organizations, overall donations of money to nonprofit groups increased last year, but educational institutions did not fare as well as other organizations. Donations to international aid groups increased the most (30 percent), followed by donations to environmental groups (23 percent), whereas donations to educational institutions actually decreased slightly (3 percent). Meanwhile, all of the major economic indicators suggest that consumer spending is higher than average this year, showing that potential donors have ample disposable income. Therefore, the clearest explanation for the decline in donations to educational institutions is that people actually value education less than they did in the past.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

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In this argument stating that people nowadays value education less than they did in the past, the author presents an interesting justification to the claim, but to assert the claim, more information and thought is required. While the associations seem logical and probable, there might be other factors that need to be taken into consideration. 

For example, the author postulates the disregard for the value of education among people based on the fact that there has been a slight decline in the donations made to the educational institutions. But there is no evidence if at all the educational institutions require monetary assistance from the community. A survey by a leading newspaper shows that for the year 2019, both the state and central government have devoted 35 percent and 43 percent of the annual budget respectively, to promote education in the country. The education sector is flourishing, with 25 new universities sanctioned by the central government in 2019. To promote education in rural areas, schools have started many programs like mid-day meals for everyone and a stipend for achieving students. 

On the other hand, issues like aid to the developing and war-torn countries and environmental groups are more pressing in nature. The damages caused due to civil wars and terrorist activities in many countries are acutely serious, which requires external assistance. Likewise, environmental damages due to anthropogenic reasons have also reached a critical level and require immediate attention to ensure the survival of life on this planet.

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Another bold assumption made by the author is that the potential donors have ample disposable income which is based on the fact that major economic indicators suggest that consumer expenditure is higher than average this economic year. The author fails to address the fact that inflation in the current economic year has taken a toll on the prices of the commodities. The government survey shows a 23 percent increase in the prices of the goods. The higher consumer spending can be related to this particular fact as the consumers have to pay more for the commodities. 

The author doesn't take into consideration the government figures, which clearly show a steep increase in the literacy rate in the country. This negates the assumption that people do not value education as they used to, in the past. The increase in the number of graduates in the country clearly shows that the parents are not only investing in the basic education of their children, but they are supporting the interest in higher studies. The census from 2018 shows a 36 percent increase in the number of graduates in the country.  

Lastly, the author has based all his assumptions on the survey that involves only 200 charitable organizations. Statistically speaking, that is not a good number upon which results can be based. A survey involving a considerable number of organizations say 1000 or more is desirable if we are to base the conclusions on the results. It is possible that the organizations which have been taken into account for the survey are majorly focused on helping the environmental cause and international aid.  

After carefully examining all the factors and various aspects involved in the present argument, it is concluded that there is a lack of enough evidence to support the claim by the author. While it may look logical at first glance, many important attributes to support the argument are missing.

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This article scores a 4 because: 

The article exhibits general grammatical correctness and good development of ideas. It provides a well-organized analysis of the argument and supports it with examples (surveys and percentages). It addresses the assumptions made in the argument insightfully.


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About the Author
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

With over 8 years of experience in overseas education, Rahul Singha has been previously associated with prominent education houses. He is also responsible for keeping a sharp eye on education policies of major study... Read Full Bio


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