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A pupil doing his homework after school.

THE SUSPENSION OF HOMEWORK IN THE PHILIPPINES

By Joreen Domingo Varly

 

To the 29 000+ Filipino readers/viewers over the past 3 months, Maraming Salamat po!

 

INTRODUCTION

Homework or homework assignment has been an inevitable part of a pupils’ academic journey. An academic task that includes a period of reading, writing that has to be completed, textbook exercises to answer, Mathematics problems to be solved, some information to review for the previous or next lesson, and some activities to practice skills.

The primary purpose of giving a homework is to reinforce and increase pupils’ knowledge and improve their learning abilities. This will encourage pupils to engage in active learning. This also promotes a pupil-parent communication and collaboration between pupils.

 But many schools are rethinking homework, some have cut down on the amount they give each week, and others no longer allow weekend assignments. Some have eliminated homework entirely.

Filipino pupils
The amount of time students spend doing homework

Source : OECD (2014)

THE PHILIPPINES’ Suspension of Homework

In September 2010, a memorandum from the Department of education was circulated (and passed on to all the bureau directors, regional directors, school division/city superintendents and Heads of Public elementary school). The  Deped Memorandum No.392 S.2010 highlights the suspension of homework during the weekend. This is to address the concern of parents regarding the amount of time the pupils consume in accomplishing their homework, instead of having an enjoyable and quality time with their family. This memorandum also intends to ease the pupils’ burden about the thought of doing plenty of homework.

 

In August 2019, the 118th Congress – Senate Bill No. 966 (authored by Senator Grace Poe) or the proposed “No Homework Law” has been filed. This is a senate bill banning teachers from giving homework to students from kinder to Grade 12 on weekends.

 

The bill stated that all primary and secondary schools in the country shall not allow teachers to give any network or assignments to students. Under the proposed measure, teachers may only assign homework to students on weekends provided that it be minimal and will not require more than four hours to be completed.  The policy will be applied on both public and private schools.

 

“Further, it looked at homework hours around the world and found that there wasn’t much of a connection between how much homework students of a particular country do and how well their students score on tests”, the bill read.

 

Citing a 2014 study from the OECD based on PISA data, the senator noted that additional time spent on homework has a negligible impact on the performance of students after around four hours of homework in a week.  In OECD countries, for example, advantaged students spend 5.7 hours per week doing homework, on average, while disadvantaged students spend an average of 4.1 hours per week.

No homework policy

 

The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed its support on this filed bill of “No homework policy” saying that it would help learners find balance between personal and academic growth. Since they had been advocating for an all-inclusive learning regime for Filipino students, to include out of the classroom schooling, a policy that will, in effect, restrict teachers from giving homework to students from kindergarten to Grade 12. In hopes that the concept will enable Filipino learners “to find balance between their academic development and personal growth by having ample time for enjoyable activities with family.”

 

Up to this date, the proposed bill is not yet approved. Apparently, there is need to be circumspect and judicious. The DepEd memorandum of 2010 is still the ruling guideline on giving homework to pupils.

A pupil doing his homework after school.
Children having a leisure time

Summary of pros and cons of homework

 

Let’s look into the summary of homework’s pros and cons:

Pros

Cons

Develops and maintains a proper study habits, self-discipline and time-management skills

significant source of stress and anxiety for students

Reinforce and develop skills taught in class

 

Homework can cause tension and conflict in the home as well as at school

Promoting parent-student communications

 

Can reduce students’ family and leisure time

Preparing for future class lessons and engaging students in active learning

 

Homework fails to promote equality of opportunity when a homework is used to outsource school material not completed in school, resulting students to resort in using the internet or other resources for help, this provides disadvantages for students without internet access

Low-achieving students receive more benefit from doing homework than high-achieving students

Children may feel overwhelmed when they have too much homework, which can negatively affect children’s natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge

Aids teachers to verify that students comprehend their lesson

Children try to finish their homework until late at night, which can lead to sleep disorders and unhealthy stress

Source : Joreen Domingo-Varly

NEWS : SEAMEO Secretariat and the Department of Education, Philippines commit to the next phase of SEA-PLM Programme

The SEAMEO Secretariat Director, Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, and the Secretary of Education, Philippines, H E Dr Leonor Magtolis Briones, signed the Memorandum of Understanding to spearhead the implementation of activities under the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) 5-Year Strategic Plan, including the SEA-PLM 2024 Survey. The MoU signing ceremony took place in the Office of the Secretary Building at the Department of Education in Manila on Monday, 02 May 2022.

The Significance and backlash of a homework according to some different research and studies

The effects, justifications, motivations and alleged benefits have been the subject of sharp criticism and debates among many education experts and researchers. Studies also says that homework doesn’t have a great impact on student’s academic achievement.

According to Harris Cooper, author of “The battle over Homework: Common ground for administrators, teachers, and parents” (Corwin Press 2001), “Kids burn out. The bottom line really is all kids should be doing homework, but the amount and type should vary according to their developmental level and home circumstances. Homework for young students should be short, lead to success without much struggle, occasionally involve parents and, when possible, use out-of-school activities that kids enjoy, such as their sports teams or high-interest reading.”

 

Cooper pointed out that there are limitations to current research on homework. For instance, little research has been done to assess whether a student’s race, socioeconomic status or ability level affects the importance of homework in his or her achievement. (Duke Study: Homework helps students succeed in school, as long as there isn’t too much)

An article by David Fitzgerald (Is homework too like hardwork) says, Homework is another learning tool to help pupils to gain a greater understanding of what they have been taught and thus make them more comfortable with and ready for new learning.

 

Homework is meant to involve the parents in the education of their children and create links between home-learning and school-learning. It is also meant to support the child in developing the motivation and the ability to learn independently.

 

If it is properly and carefully planned, homework will lead to successful learning for the pupils and help them to develop an active interest in learning.

 

According to  Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education, “Any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development. 

 

Too much homework can reduce their (students) time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility. Young people are spending more time alone, which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities”. ( source)

In the Cheung & Leung-Ngai (1992) survey, failure to complete homework and low grades where homework was a contributing factor was correlated with greater conflict; some students have reported teachers and parents frequently criticizing their work. Homework can cause tension and conflict in the home as well as at school, and can reduce students’ family and leisure time.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. ABASSA Michel

    Félicitations à Joreen d’évoquer un problème en émergence dans les pays africains.
    Au Cameroun où je passe la majorité de mes observations, le problème de” saturation des activités intellectuelle” gagne du terrain, encouragé par cette frénésie de faire avancer les enfants sans respecter le rythme bio-physiologique des enfants. Tenez par exemple, les congés c’est à partir du 10 juin au primaire. Immédiatement, les “saturalistes” ont déjà programmé des cours de rattrapage pour le mois de juillet. Quand est-ce que le cerveau de ces enfants va se reposer?
    Commençons à mener des réflexions dans ce sens.
    Châpeau Joreen/

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