- South African schools are starting to implement a no-homework policy which is based on a concept from Finland
- The basis of this concept is that a relaxed and happy child actually performs better at school and playing is vital to child development
- The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education said it might consider implementing the policy in the future
Homework is the bane of existence for schoolchildren and their stressed, frazzled and overburdened parents. Homework often leads to arguments between children and parents and often times rob families of precious quality time together.
If you are such a parent, prepare to rejoice as the days of homework could come to end in the near future. South African schools are slowly but surely implementing a no-homework policy.
The no-homework policy is based on a concept from Finland. The country regularly comes in the top five best education systems in the world which means they are doing something right.
Briefly.co.za discovered that the system has two key-points, the first is that a relaxed and happy child actually performs better at school and secondly, playing is a vital part of child development.
The Sun Valley Group of schools from Cape Town have pioneered the concept in South Africa. The group describes itself as progressive decided to take a fresh look at education and how to get the best results for children.
Debbie Fortune from the group said: “We have adopted policies that are inclusive of digital devices that have progressed beyond the concept of a ‘textbook under glass’. Our teachers abide by our fundamental principles that remain a part of our philosophy.”
Eliminating homework reduces stress on children and their parents. The system also enables families to spend much-needed quality time together rather than squabbling over homework.
“Why would we send work home to parents who have entrusted us with their children? No child comes home from school to school at home,” she said.
Sun Valley Group is expected to make presentations to various schools in KwaZulu-Natal on the benefits of implementing the no-homework ethos and how to make the programme work for their children.
Parents have voiced their concern and frustration over the amount of homework which children as young as six receive. One mom said her son who is in grade 1, only gets home after 4 pm because of sport and other activities.
“My son has to learn a series of daily sight words and read a reader book. He then has to do maths and English homework, it’s is at about 7 pm when he is done, which means he has 30 minutes to tell me about his day, play with his baby sister and go to the toilet. I still read him a bedtime story, then he says his prayer and then time is up. For goodness’ sake, he is 6 years old,” she said.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education said it had taken note of the Finish model and was open to looking at implementing the system in its school in the future.
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