Maharashtra Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar caused a stir when he raised when he raised a point, on September 16, about not over-burdening school-going children. He said the government thinks that the children going to primary sections should not be given homework as it pressurises them. He also mentioned that teachers can easily escape their responsibilities by assigning homework.
While the proposal sent some shock-waves among the schools and academicians, the Free Press Journal tried to get a feel of how education space reacted.
Principals find homework to be necessary but not in excess
Daljit Kaur, Principal of Guru Gobind Singh High School, said, “Homework is just a medium of practice. For a few children, who be careful with their studies, homework or no homework doesn’t make much of a difference. However, it is necessary to give homework to kids who who usually don’t take care of their studies. So, for such kids homework is a way for parents to stay updated.”
“Homework is not a very good proposition. Kids shouldn’t be burdened with too much of written. The homework should be creative or application-based, and not only copy pasting from some text book,” said the Campus Head of Gopi Birla Memorial School, Veena Shrivastava. She further added, “Anyway, children don’t get enough time to socialize and entertainment, so not much of homework should be given.”
Teachers suggest ways to make homeworks 'valuable'
Dhruti Limbadiya, a teacher from RBK Global School, Bhayandar, said, “The proposition is actually good. The reason being that drill homework isn’t required at home, however self-study is very important. Children should cultivate a form of learning, maybe revising whatever is taught in the class.”
Another teacher, Sunanda Nair said, “Earlier what used to happen was some part of a chapter was taught to kids and the rest was given as homework. Now, on the other hand, similar questions to what is taught in school are given as homework. Sometimes, the classwork also gets repeated in homework. So usually, homework is nowadays some sort of lesson-related assignment or a project. That is a good form of homework.”
Aditi Devadiga, a tution teacher in Powai, said, “It is important for students to get at least a little homework. With this, parents may have a track of what is going on in the school and they’ll know what method should be used to teach the students. Moreover, students also are allowed to complete their homework in their tuition, with the teacher’s help. However, there has to be a limit set for the amount of homework that is being given.”
Parents not entirely sold on the idea of no homeworks
Krupa Shah, mother of a student studying in Grade IV, said, “The proposal does not sound good to me. It is important that the students in the primary section should be given homework. If they’re not given homework, there are high chances that will get burdened later in the secondary sections. Moreover, no homework means that the students will not have any reason to open their books at home, and they wouldn’t have anything to do.”
“If kids don’t get homework, it won’t be a bad thing at all. They’ll have time for extra studies. In my experience, how teachers in school teach is easy for kids to remember. They have a different trick that we parents can not match, no matter what. Hence, majority of the work should be done in school itself, and not be given for homework,” said Hiral Shah, mother of a primary section kid from Mulund.
“In my opinion, homework should only be given on weekends because during the week, students anyway go for extra coaching classes. Scrapping the idea of homework completely is not a very good idea,” said Pooja Vishwakarma, who is mother of a student studying in Grade 1.
Students prefer not bringing school to home
Moksha Shah, studying in Grade 4, Sheth Karamshi Kanji English School, stated, “We don’t get homework daily. We usually get more homework for subjects like Math that require daily practice. I wouldn’t like if I’m not given homework as I wouldn’t be able to practice what my teacher teaches in school.”
Rucha Patel, studying in Grade 4, said, “I don’t like when I get homework. It is usually the same thing that I have done in school. Because of the homework I get, I am not able to spend enough time playing with my friends.”
What Mr Kesarkar suggested has obviously not gone down too well but time will tell whether the proposal sees reality anytime soon.