1. Sample Text 1

When Australians engage in debate about educational quality or equity, they often seem to accept that a country cannot achieve both at the same time. The lecture will present compelling international evidence that there are countries which do, though Australia is not among them.

Curriculum reforms intended to improve equity often fail to do so because they increase breadth or differentiation in offerings in a way that increases differences in quality. Further, these differences in quality often reflect differences in students’ social backgrounds because the ‘new’ offerings are typically taken up by relatively disadvantaged students who are not served well by them. Evidence from New South Wales will be used to illustrate this point. The need to improve the quality of education is well accepted across OECD and other countries as they seek to strengthen their human capital to underpin their modern, knowledge economies. Improved equity is also important for this purpose, since the demand for high-level skills is widespread and the opportunities for the low-skilled are diminishing.

Improved equity in education is also important for social cohesion. There are countries in which the education system seems primarily to reproduce existing social arrangements, conferring privilege where it already exists and denying it where it does not. Even in countries where the diagnosis might be less extreme, the capacity of schooling to build social cohesion is often diminished by the way in which schools separate individuals and groups.

Sample Answer

Although improved educational equity increases differences in quality so that educational equity and quality can’t be achieved at the same time, improved educational equity and quality are still
important because they could strengthen human capital and social cohesion.


2. Sample Text 2

For those political analysts whose main interest remains class divisions in society biggest split these days is that between those who control and work with Information Technology (IT) and those we might still call Blue collar workers. The old divisions of class have become a lot more difficult to apply, if not completely outdated. There is no escaping the enormous impact of information technology in the late 20th and, even more, the early 21st centuries, both economically and socially.

During the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries, the spirit of experiment was in the air, and those involved were practical people working to practical ends – often on their own or with a small group of trusted friends. Secrecy was important as there was money to be made in new inventions. What interested them were results, not theories. Most modern technological advances, however, were developed as theories first, and then made reality by large team of scientists and experts in the field. What we have now is that more and more of this type of expertise is being used to analyse and find solutions to all kinds of business and social problems, thus creating – in the eyes of the political analysts mentioned above – a whole large new economic and social class.


3. Sample Text 3

Although vitamin A itself is not present in plants, many plants produce a substance called carotene, formed from leaf-green which our bodies can convert into vitamin A. Carotene is the yellowish-red coloring matter in carrots. The greener a leaf is, the more carotene it usually contains. Hence the importance of green, leafy vegetables in the diet as a source of carotene. Tomatoes, papayas, mangoes and bananas contain more carotene than most other fruits. Red palm oil contains so much carotene that it is used instead of cod-liver oil. Thus, it is very valuable, both as a food-fat and for deep-frying.

Vitamin A and carotene are insoluble in water and they are not destroyed by heat unless oxygen is present. Boiling in water, therefore, does not destroy much vitamin A or carotene. Vitamin A encourages healthy growth and physical fitness. Young animals soon stop growing and die if vitamin A is not present in their diet. This vitamin keeps the moist surfaces lining the digestive canal, the lungs and air passages healthy. It also helps keep the ducts of the various glands, the tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the front of the eyeball functional. As vitamin A helps these tissues build up resistance to infection, it is often called the anti-infective vitamin.

Some of the most common disorders in people are caused by a shortage of vitamin A, when the moist tissues become dry and rough. This often causes serious eye disease, followed by infection of the air-passages. The skin may also become flaky and rough. Another defect caused by shortage of vitamin A is ‘night-blindness’, when the affected person has distinct vision only in bright light.




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