“Implementation of No Homework Policy”
Education has been a significant part of society. As of today, education plays a vital role in the success of every individual however, education has changed through time. Students nowadays experience a much faster pace than students generations ago (Cordz, 2017). Students are often looked upon as the building blocks of society thus the present generation needs a competitive advantage which includes their academic success among others. However, It is evident that with the growing knowledge and fast pace of technology, the student’s academic workload and academic stress are increasing and significant addition to this increasing stress is homework (Galloway, Conner & Pope, 2013) As Cited by Pope (2013), busy world discourages learning and tolerates doing homework to simply earn points.
Escudero filed House Bill (HB) No. 3611, which seeks to remove homework as a requirement during weekends and have Kinder to Grade 12 students do academic activities solely within school premises. The Department of Education (DepEd) has also expressed its support for the no-homework policy bills proposed by lawmakers in the House of Representatives. Criticism from different people especially our parents and students pointed out that this bill should be implemented. Well if we will take into full consideration the state of the education system today, is it really a necessity for the curriculum to remove homework during weekends? Is it really the most efficient way to help the students manage their academics wisely? Well, I believe that removing homework during weekends will be a great means for the students to manage their academics and personal life wisely.
House Bill 3883 is believed to have potential benefits if implemented. Three separate bills that support the No Homework policy have been proposed, two in Congress and one in the Senate. Quezon City 5th District Representative and actor Alfred Vargas filed a bill that seeks to ban elementary and high school teachers from giving assignments over the weekend with violators to face a fine of P50, 000 and jail time of up to two years,’ citing that ‘the time that students would spend on homework could be dedicated instead to honing entrepreneurship skills with their family and friends, or joining sports competitions and artistic workshops.’ Meanwhile, House Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero filed a separate bill that bans homework for kinder to grade 12 students. At the same time, the proposal includes that learners in this level will also be not allowed to take their textbooks out of all public and private schools. Senate Bill 966, filed by Senator Grace Poe, also seeks to mandate all ‘primary and secondary schools in the country to not allow teachers to give any homework or assignments to students from Kinder to Grade 12 on weekends. Under the proposed measure of Senator Poe intended for public and private schools, teachers may only assign homework to students on weekends provided that it will be minimal and will not require more than four hours to be completed.’
There are many things to be considered before criticizing this bill. First and foremost, people misunderstood that the “No Homework Policy” totally bans the giving of homework when in fact it is only during weekends. The Department of Education has also expressed its support for the proposed ‘No homework policy,’ stating that the ‘Department supports the no-homework policy proposed by legislators from the House of Representatives. By ensuring that they complete all assignments and projects in school, the no-homework policy enables our learners to find a balance between their academic development and personal growth by having ample time for enjoyable activities with family.’
A recently concluded study by the University of the Philippines shows that family time is extremely important to achievement and behavior. Studies on family meals suggest that students who have dinner with their families have better academic scores and behavioral outcomes.
Perhaps this is only a correlation, but family time is undeniably important to student development. In addition, the weekend is the only time parents could expect their children to help them with household chores and assignments given on weekend makes it their focus instead. Students spent most of their days at school while their parents are at work.
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Second, more homework doesn’t necessarily equate to higher achievement. A 1989 Duke University study that reviewed .01 studies found a weak link between achievement and homework at the elementary level and only a moderate benefit at the middle school level. In a similar recent review of 60 studies, researchers at Duke University found homework was beneficial, but assigning excessive amounts of homework was counterproductive. In the same manner, it should be considered that students also need rest. Everyone needs a mental breather and the weekends are the best time for relaxation, for longer hours of sleep, or for anything you want to do other than your school tasks. Students then should get less homework on weekends because too much can cause great stress which in turn causes lack of sleep, slipping grades, fatigue, unhealthy eating habits, depression, and other many factors. According to a 2006 poll, 80% of teens don’t get the recommended amount of sleep which is one factor in low performance in class. In this case, teachers still have the right to give homework but on weekdays only.
Moreover, students might learn more from observing the real world, and weekend assignments deprive them of this opportunity. Learning isn’t just about paper and pen activities. Teachers should also inspire students to seek ways to learn from real-world experiences. They might be enlightened to learn more about the real world and different jobs they might pursue in the future other than just sitting at a desk all day just to complete all the assigned tasks!
Extracurricular activities and personal hobbies are important in helping to develop one’s character, and especially in these crucial years, it seems an important thing to define ourselves. However, these important times are just being taken up by more and more work.
In addition to this, in other countries, homework is guided by what is called, ‘the ten-minute rule’ which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level’. Cooper also quoted: ‘A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements. If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.’
There are also countries in this world that give less homework and are still successful. At the top of the list for less homework and being highly successful in Finland. This European country prides itself on short school days, long vacations, and only 2.8 hours of homework a week. Finland says its system works on trust. Rather than overloading children with work when they are home, Finnish parents trust that the teachers will give the children all the education they need while they are at school. Much like Finland, South Korea only has around 2.9 hours of homework a week. Japanese schools work in a way unlike many others around the world. Rather than teachers using the knowledge they have to teach the class, they work at educating their students on how to use the internet and resources around them to find the answer for themselves. This means that schools in Japan only hand out around 3.8 hours of homework a week.
With the abovementioned arguments, there are still people who are against this bill. Education Secretary Leonor Briones recently engaged in a public pitch for the policy, which is now the subject of a couple of pending bills in Congress. She does not agree with the position of the Department of Education (DepEd) that a “no homework” policy, prohibiting teachers from assigning academic work to be completed by students outside of regular school hours, is beneficial to Filipino students. Educators also from both public and private schools expressed concern about the “no homework” bills noting that the proposal might promote “wrong values” among learners – thus, making the country’s education system more “problematic.”
As the main objective of House Bill 3883 was described as removing homework during weekends, I believe that it is a great means to help the students to manage their academics and personal life wisely. The bottom line of this is we want only what’s best for our students. We don’t train robots, we train humans. Removing homework for students during weekends will not greatly affect their personality in a bad way but in fact, it is the opposite of it. House Bill 3883 doesn’t mean the total banning of homework but rather removing homework on weekends only.
- Manila Times, No Homework Policy, 2019 retrieved from https://www.manilatimes.net/2019/08/31/opinion/editorial/no-homework-policy-is-no-good/608789/
- Merlina Malipot, No Homework Policy: A Controversy, 2019 retrieved from https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/08/27/no-homework-policy-could-create-wrong-values-among-learners/
- Janella Paris, DepEd supports No Homework Policy, 2019 retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/238795-deped-supports-proposed-no-homework-policy
- Josh Becker, Countries with Less Homework, 2018 retrieved from https://www.geekycamel.com/countries-give-less-homework-theyre-successful/
- Michelle Lacson, About the No Homework Policy, 2019 retrieved from https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1821268