‘No homework on weekend’ policy being pushed to include private schools

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd)'s “no homework on weekend” directive is being pushed to include students from private schools.

Parents like Dona Cargullo believes that the policy is very effective in giving more time for children to spend with their families or on their other interests. She said, “Madadagdagan 'yong time nila na matuto din sa kung ano 'yong pwede nilang matutunan sa bahay.”

‘No homework on weekend’ policy being pushed to include private schools
Parents from private school also want the “no homework on weekends” policy for their children | Photo Courtesy: Official Gazette

The policy that prohibits teachers from giving out assignments on Friday was passed in 2010 and currently being implemented only in public schools. DepEd Usec. Anne Sevilla believes that the policy will help in the holistic development of the child. She said, “Kailangan kasi ng time for self care ng bata. The education has to be holistic, so ibig sabihin 'yong time for personal development for bata is very important.”

Although several private school parents are pushing for its implementation in their school, the policy also has its share of critics.

Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators doesn't approve of the controversial policy. He believes that without homeworks on weekends, students will just spend time on social media which might pose more harm. Kasilag said, “Nasira na ng social media ang magandang image ng tablet education, cyber crime, cyber addiction, depression, lahat yan nangyayari kapag nasa bakasyon ang estudyante eh.”

Kasilag also added, “Sa homework, nao-obliga mo 'yong bata na mag-aral...ang mga bansa na nangunguna sa edukasyon, sa South Korea, Japan, halos araw-araw binibigyan sila ng exams sa klase."

Even back in 2010 when the policy was passed, Teachers' Dignity Coalition president Benjo Basas called the memorandum as “unnecessary” and pointed out that it violates the “academic freedom” of educators.

‘No homework on weekend’ policy being pushed to include private schools
Guidelines on giving homework or assignments to all public elementary school pupils

DepEd defended the approval of the policy that children should learn to spend more quality time with their parents.

Yolanda Quijano, the director of the DepEd Bureau of Elementary Education during the time of the policy’s implementation said, “All we want is that the kids should also enjoy their time during the weekends with their parents without the problem of having too much homework. We are not limiting their time to study. It should actually be a habit. They should study even without any homework."

— Sally, The Summit Express

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