Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmers (for example working for charity, improving the neighborhood or teaching sports to younger children).
To what extent do you agree with this opinion?
I don't agree with this opinion in any way. Compulsory voluntary work is a contradiction, and not only in a literal way.
On one hand, the purpose of community service or any form of voluntary work is a question still up for debate. It's the primer goal to help those who are being aided or to enrich personally the volunteers? Why is this relevant? The warmglow effect that results from helping someone wouldn't be present if this help was "compulsory". Children would see this work as any other obligation, a way to keep them apart from the fun stuff they enjoy. The purpose of volunteer work would be lost at least in half.
I've said "at least" because making these services mandatory could even affect the other half of the purpose of volunteer work. The warm glow effect, as cynical as it is, explains why so many people are regular volunteers: they feel good about themselves. However, someone who sees this work as an obligation, as I've pointed out, won't be so motivated, and this could affect the result of their work. I can find one example of this in my personal life: in the past year I helped to fund a pro bono association, who provides legal aid to the poor. We had many great volunteers who helped us starting the association, and one whowas forced, in order to have access to a scholarship. He was the only one that let us down, never attending the meating or returning our calls, simply because he wasn't interested.
Helping those who need is a mantra that everyone should follow, and charities are always lacking hands. However, 2 + 2 isn't always 4, and in this case, joining the supply with the demand, in my opinion would have a negative outcome.