Kathleen E. Yandan, Teacher I – Cupang Elementary School
For many decades, assignments have been used to improve retention for the past lessons and to prepare the students for the next. However due to a massive difference of the then and now learners, it might not be as effective as it was before.
The traditional way of thinking says that homework increases the students’ productivity at home. Wherein, they can still do academic-related tasks instead of wasting their time on other things. Also, it is said to help children become responsible students by practicing their focus on their assignments and is supposedly a good way to train them in handling pressure. However, the excessive amount of homework with unrealistic deadlines are too much for students to handle and are not healthy for learning anymore.
Assignments are supposed to be a method to increase the quality time for students to study. Because many public schools lack the manpower to assess the students’ performance one-by-one, it could have been an effective way to ensure quality learning despite the previously mentioned struggle. But, for the past years, the complaints about excessive homework have been increasing. Many students, especially the young learners, were harshly affected by the pressure of accomplishing their unjust requirements. For instance: many learners were deprived of their sleep just to finish school projects, and a majority of students claimed that they didn’t get to spend quality time with their families.
This simply shows that in our hunger to spend quality time in order to learn, we lost the quality time we could have spent on other valuable things.
Regarding this matter, in August 2019, House Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero filed the House Bill No. 3611 that aims to eliminate homework as a graded requirement in schools. In addition, it seeks to limit the academic tasks of students from Grades 1 to 12 within the school only. This bill was seconded by a majority of students, parents, teachers and the Department of Education itself. Moreover, many pro-family advocates stated that studying at home must be a voluntary act by the students and not demanded by the schools. As for them, the weekends must also be a time for students to breathe and not to do a lot more work.
Productivity isn’t measured only on how much school works you finished or on how many lessons you read. Children nowadays should also give attention in discovering their hidden talents and skills; and that’s also crucial to their growth because the future will require more than just academic knowledge.
As teachers, we should be sensitive and considerate enough. We must indeed be advocates of quality learning but we must also push through the welfare of our students. Be one with the department in advancing the balance of the lifestyle of students.
Besides, what good is it for our future to produce an intelligent yet exhausted generation?