The no-homework policy

There is need to be circumspect and judicious, with the no-homework policy bills proposed by lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, welcomed by the Department of Education but slammed by teachers’ groups.


Definitely, those bills will be examined closely and thoroughly during public hearings to be conducted by the committees involved in both chambers, appreciating forwarded arguments and bones of contention from the proponents and those who oppose it.

The bill filed by House Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero seeks to remove homework as a requirement and have Kinder to Grade 12 students do academic activities entirely within school premises, with the bill’s explanatory note stressing homework assignments “can deprive students and parents (of) precious quality time for rest, relaxation, and interaction after school hours and even on weekend.”

Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, in a separate bill, wants to eliminate homework on weekends for all elementary and high school students. He goes further by citing a 2018 study that featured discussions on a similar policy in a public school in Western Cape province of South Africa where scholars argued “that homework is a burden for children and parents” which had contributed to the decline of family time and compromised learning interest.

In the Senate, Senator Grace Poe filed a bill titled “No Homework Law” banning teachers to give homework or assignments on weekends, the policy to be applicable to both public and private schools.

Poe also cited a study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment, and noted that additional time spent on homework had a negligible impact on performance of students.

Some senators like Senator Joel Villanueva have also expressed support for the no-homework policy. Villanueva, who currently chairs the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education, who said school children “should be able to spend more time with their families and explore things outside the regular class curricula. This will encourage our kids to enhance their creativity and deep thinking.”

We note of the knockdowns raised by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, the Teachers Dignity Coalition and the Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators as well as the support extended by the Department of Education.

It is axiomatic that we need to make strategies where students can be responsive to the challenges and demands of a very competitive market.

Let’s have the arguments scrutinized properly during the public hearings. But let’s not slam the door shut at this point on what might be the merits of the proposals.

Topics: no-homework policy , Department of Education , House of Representatives , Evelina Escudero

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