‘So inhumane’: Calls for caps on ‘stressful’ homework

‘So inhumane’: Calls for caps on ‘stressful’ homework
Hong Kong lawmakers are looking to reduce the amount of homework given to primary school students, the South China Morning Post reported.

According to the proposal, made by the education department panel, schools would be forced to: cap the number of hours students spend doing homework; make one day ‘homework free’ and restrict the amount of homework given on Fridays.

“Many pupils have to work three hours to finish their homework after school,” said Ann Chiang Lai-wan, chairwoman of the island nation’s education panel.

“It’s so inhumane.”

A study carried out by charity Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service in November found that 13% of the 1,301 Year 1-6 students polled showed signs of depression.

In a paper submitted to the panel, Hong Kong’s Education Bureau hit back, saying that a cap on the amount of homework was “definitely unprofessional,” given the different learning level of students.
However, legislators pointed to other regions where limits on homework are imposed, with positive effects.

“For example, California has regulations on the maximum amount of homework for students in each grade. France and Taiwan also have similar rules,” said Ip Kin-yuen, a lawmaker for the education sector.

“Are these countries ‘definitely unprofessional’?”

Lawmakers in the panel passed motions calling on the Education Bureau to further study overseas examples and reconsider capping the number of hours primary school students spend on their homework and the maximum amount of homework a student should be given.

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