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Friday, September 20, 2019
PAMPANGA

Lacson: About the 'no homework policy'

Providentia

I REMEMBER when I was still in school, I did not really bother my parents to help me in my assignments, projects, and even quarterly exams. As they say, I became a diligent student and earned my reward being included in the list of honor students every year.

Now that I am a parent myself, things are quite different. Every night, I will always ask my kids if they have any homework to finish for the next school day. Of course, I will help and guide them as they accomplish these. Parents are always required to affix their signatures on the notebooks to signify that they have checked the answers of their kids.

However, the fuss about the proposed "No homework policy" has affected not only students and parents, but also teachers and educators. Parents in general seem to be happy about the said proposal, but teachers are saying otherwise.

Three separate bills that support the No Homework policy have been proposed, two in the 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 and 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."

The Department of Education has expressed its support to the proposed "No homework policy," stating in a statement 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 balance between their academic development and personal growth by having ample time for enjoyable activities with family."

This is my personal take on this matter: of the three proposals filed, the most plausible one is the bill filed by Senator Grace Poe. Homework or assignments and other take-home activities from the school reinforce the network of the school and home as complementary agents needed in the teaching and learning process, particularly to that of learners aged 5-16 years old. Teachers can only do so much in the classroom, and the kind of activities and projects being required of students can also forge a bonding moment for parents and their kids. It's just a matter of having the right perspective. And with this, I also mean giving the students the "right" volume of assignments and projects.

In the same manner, doing homework promotes a sense of responsibility and diligence among our learners, teaching them the values of hard work and industriousness. My final say, I am not in favor of the absolute "no homework policy" to be implemented in our country.


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