A recent memorandum circulated by the Philippines' Department of Education (DepEd) ordered all public school teachers especially in the elementary level to refrain from giving take-home assignments especially on Fridays. Accordingly, the learners should spend quality time with their family during weekends but due to loads of homeworks given to them, children tend to become burdened on weekends. Such memorandum, of course, has stirred negative reactions from a couple of educators in the country who seem to have been ignored when the policy was planned.
Where should I stand to such memorandum? As Filipino educator, I couldn't just say that I could ignore it. Personally, I have been fond of giving homeworks to my students especially during long holidays and I never meant to give burden in the part of the parents and the learners every time I give some homeworks. Instead, I instill to the learners that learning could be as fun as doing other chores and that spending the entire holiday playing would not do good to them. Of course, I know the capability of my students and I would not give bunches of homeworks which would only cause them to spend their entire holiday doing homeworks. In fact, I advocate in providing a learning equilibrium inside and outside schools, thus, providing the learners a friendly and natural learning atmosphere where they could personally explore that learning and fun could actually interplay provided that they possess a positive attitude.
As for the parents, they need to understand that education is a collaborative process and that the burden should not be solely given to the teachers. Parents have to spend as much time as possible helping their children showing them a positive attitude towards learning. We all know that most of the parents are being bombarded with lots of work-related loads during weekdays and spending quality time learning with their children is almost impossible. Weekends could be a good time for them to spend some time doing few school-related works with their children.
I believe that the said memorandum from DepEd only instills negative connotation for homeworks to the learners. It adds fuel to the existing phony perception that homework (and so learning) is burden -- a struggle which must be endured by every learner. Having parents spend time with their children doing homeworks is the best way for parents to show affection and interest towards their children's education and that it encourages them to gain more positive insights towards learning. I strongly adhere to a personal proposition that what needs to be done in our public schools is not to suppress teachers from giving homeworks to the learners. Instead, teachers should be equipped with enhanced professional knowledge on the principles of learning and the giving of homeworks as well as the provision of holistic development among every individual. Meanwhile, parents should also be informed that their children do not have to spend weekends doing special classes in some tutorial centers or having individualized lessons but rather spend a portion of their time during weekends preparing for their lessons the following week. It's in the parents how they teach their children to manage time especially when they're home.
The world is now moving towards the creation of a knowledge-based society. If we want to cope with the current trend of the society, then we need to instill in the minds of our learners that genuine desire to learn at any time every time. Homeworks have never been and will never be designed to cause burden to the learners but to encourage them to learn more whenever possible.