Ever had a stockpile of homework on a school night? Well, students, you’ve got nothing to worry about soon: the government’s “No Homework Policy” may just be on the horizon to save you from sleeplessness.
In an interview with DZMM, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones expressed her support on banning homework for kindergarten to high school students. “Ang gusto natin lahat ng pormal na pag-aaral, assignments, projects, whatever, gawin sa loob ng eskwelahan,” Briones stated. “Pag-uwi nila, libre na sila, free time na nila to be with their parents, with their friends.”
This is in response to the recently proposed bill at the House of Representatives. Separate measures were also passed by Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero and Rep. Alfred Vargas. Schools across the country have attempted to enact “No Homework Fridays,” although others continue to insist on student assignments.
While we see the pros in lessening students’ load in exchange for some bonding time with family and friends, educators have cited the problematic nature of this policy. Teachers claim that the policy will instill “wrong values,” as homework promoted responsibility and discipline for school children. However, several school systems across countries have pushed for policies against homework, with outstanding results. According to Business Insider, students from Italy accomplish about 8.1 hours worth of homework per week, but rank relatively low for education systems. In contrast, South Korean students spend 2.9 hours on homework weekly, while ranking at the top of the list for the Pearson Review.
Finland ranks fifth for best education system according to an infographic created by Ozicare Insurance, spending a total of merely 2.8 hours on homework. They emphasize a family-friendly approach, where education isn’t limited to the confines of a classroom.
Homework has been an area of debate since early in the 20th century, with camps divided between those who find homework a “necessary evil,” and those who think it’s nothing but a hurdle for children. Fast-forward to 2019, we continue the conversation, as these students are growing up amid a drastically changing backdrop. With heavy traffic and longer commutes in the equation, kids barely have time to think about homework, let alone do it.
So here’s a PSA for these educators: we need to find time to squeeze “childhood” in students’ school agenda.
Art by Aira Ydette