Homework should enhance learning and development

Practising concepts and reviewing lessons will result in greater retention of course material.

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Published: Sun 10 Dec 2017, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 10 Dec 2017, 10:29 PM

The debate on whether to give or not to give homework has been a long drawn one. It is an intensely debated topic among teachers, parents and the students. While teachers and parents would cast the "yes" vote, students invariably vouch for "nay" on the ground that any work outside the school is a burden. However, in reality, after-school hours is the time when students can get more information on a topic, if they wish to. But it is important that teachers refrain from giving homework just for the sake of doing so. They should master the art of assigning meaningful work, which will give students the opportunity to independently practise what they learn  at school, reinforcing knowledge and skills.
Practising concepts and reviewing lessons will result in greater retention of course material. The work given should be challenging, and well-coordinated by teachers so that students are not loaded at the end of the day. The aim is not to keep them occupied for the evening, but to make learning meaningful. Encouraging teamwork will help students realise the importance of working together and encourage them to research on topics. Homework also allows the family to get involved in their child's learning. But parents should not feel that a day without homework is a day wasted.
Remember, the school is eight hours each day, and youngsters need at least 10 hours of sleep. That leaves them with just six hours to do what they enjoy, plus their daily chores. We wouldn't want them to be bogged down by school work all the time. They need time to do what they enjoy, to relax and to be themselves. Even as the latest studies on how not to tax children suggest that homework should be avoided, doing away with it completely is not the way forward. The key is to strike a balance, since the aim is to bring up well-rounded students. Hence, any homework assigned should have a purpose and be designed to cultivate learning and development.

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