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Lawmaker seeks permanent ban on homework during weekends

To improve the well-being of students, a lawmaker called for a permanent policy banning homework during weekends.

In a Monday privilege speech, Tutok to Win party-list Representative Sam Versoza said too much homework on supposed free days was not sharpening students' minds but was instead burdening them and even their parents.

He cited a 2022 report by the state-run Philippine Institute for Development Studies which said that students in the Philippines spend the same number of school hours as those in advanced countries but learn less.

“The Department of Education has a memorandum advising teachers to limit the number of homework to a reasonable number and refrain from giving assignments to be done on weekends so students can spend time with their families,” Versoza said.

“Ngunit sa kasamaang palad, hindi po ito mahigpit na naipapatupad at wala ring sapat at maayos na monitoring. Therefore, there is a need to institutionalize the guidelines implementing the no homework policy during weekends,” he added.

(Unfortunately, these policies of limiting and not issuing homework for the weekend were not strictly observed.)

Versoza said that the plight of working students, as well as parents who did not finish schooling and those who are already tired from a day’s work to earn a living, should also be considered.

“We can better help working students if all the things they have to learn were already taught during school hours,” he pointed out.

“As for working parents, instead of having time to rest, they would have to help their children with their homework. At times, they even answer the homework themselves,” Versoza added.

In addition, Versoza said that too much homework would also tire teachers out, who also have families to take care of after work hours.

Having said that, Versoza said the Philippines should shift from the traditional or one-size-fits-all curriculum to a progressive one which uses flexible learning procedures, such as choosing activities for children based on their needs and capabilities to enable them to integrate their academic knowledge with their social development.

“We need [this approach because we need] more than professional skills to survive. We should also have practical skills,” he added. — DVM, GMA Integrated News