TEACHER CORNER | An educator's stand on the No-Homework Policy

by Francia Gudelia R. Busadre
Teacher I, Nabua NHS

Just this previous month, we heard a lot about the bill filed by Senator Grace Poe on No-Homework Policy or no giving of assignments to students as part of class requirements especially on weekends and whoever violates it must have the fine of Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php. 50,000.00). The main purpose of the bill is to eliminate students’ extra time and effort for class tasks and therefore give way to quality time with their families.

Most comments I have known and read were all negative. They said that instead of giving the students a responsibility, we are teaching them to be more irresponsible and just making them lousy learners. That, instead of spending quality time with their families, they will just waste it in using gadgets or playing nonsense online games. Despite these comments, DepEd recognizes the bill and gives its positive perspective about it. The agency believes that still, homework provides learners with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and improve their abilities and skills, but on the other hand, holistic development of a learner should also be considered and in order to balance academic development and personal growth we should provide it to them by having ample time for enjoyable activities with the family. That is why DepEd Memorandum No. 392,s. 2010 advices teachers to “limit the giving of homework to a reasonable quantity. It likewise states that “no homework shall be given during weekends” to elementary school learners.

As I see it, Senator Poe has nothing against us, teachers nor she is a pro parents neither. She is a very neutral senator. She is for both the teachers and the students. Maybe she just wants us to produce more productive and effective learners who, in the end, would be a great help in our country. How? If the bill would become a law, we should be thankful to her. We would be instilling in our learners’ minds the values of honesty, initiative and persistence. This is the best opportune time for teachers to figure out if who among their learners the ones who are studying their previous lessons and even those who studied advance for the new lessons. See? There is a huge reason why the writer filed for this bill. It is just a matter of understanding her motives in dealing with this.

As a parent, I could also attest to the fact that sometimes we are disturbed by how other teachers give homework to our children. We sometimes blame them that what they are giving our kids are not assignments anymore for them to learn, but something that punishes them or their old ones. Let me repeat that I myself is a teacher. I know some of us are somehow crossing the line, that we are becoming burdens to our learners. I could also tell personally, by merely seeing some students after getting tired from school, they also have huge responsibilities to be taken cared of at home. I pity some of them, that instead of caring for themselves or for their education, they are at the streets and chasing for something that would feed the stomachs of their households. So, these are some realities of life that we should at least give consideration to. Thus, instead of asking the assignments made by them, it would be better to ask if they are feeling good on the task you gave them. Just sayin’...