Homework- a Boon or Bane

After long-drawn school hours, kids return home and immediately get down to tackling the day’s homework. Where is the time to relax and do other extra-curricular activities? Does homework need to be rethought so that it is less of a burden and engages the child more effectively?

School-related stomachaches, headaches, sleep problems and depression are on the rise. Parents too have a hard time, often doing a major part of the homework to help out the child. Kids are all supposed to be having the physical activity and fresh air. A proper sleep is a must for all the human beings. For many parents sleep is as important as family. Where does all that fit in?

Students can be seen bowed under a load of homework, and an educational system whose focus appeared to be less on education than on getting increasingly stressed-out kids into prestigious universities. People too often mistake children for adults in little bodies. They’re children. To be asking them to go home and after they’ve had their full afternoon of activities and other stuff, to ask them after the meal to write an essay, to do a project, it doesn’t seem too fair.

Parents and educators have been struggling with homework for over 100 years, as it has been touted and condemned as a way to improve student performance. Questions the cons of homework are being asked more and more often. In a number of schools, parents are raising their concerns about the burden of homework, piled on nightly, on weekends and even over holiday and summer breaks.

While grades and test scores are important aspects of a student’s academic life, one must not forget to be ‘well-rounded’. This basically means that aside from the academic aspect of a student’s school career, they take the time to join activities and clubs that could help them further pursue interest in a possible future profession. Once again the burdening homework stands in the way. If teachers are so concerned about the success of their students, wouldn’t they want to help them pursue a passion when they got the chance instead of making them read about ancient Harappan Civilization and do a project on it?

I am not suggesting that homework be completely abolished because to a certain point, it is an important part of the curriculum. Having homework teaches students time management skills and to work and learn independently. Homework is essential to make sure that a child revises whatever is taught in school at home too. But the onus is on teachers to try and make it a fun activity for students.

Imagine a day with lesser homework. A student would have time to have an actual life. They could come home without that weary look of dread on their face that shows no hope of sleep in the near future. Kids would have the time to be out exercising and helping the community. With lighter homework loads every night, teachers are giving their students chances to pursue what interests them to become the next rock-star or discover something unknown to the world.

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