SINGAPORE: Let students be homework-free for at least two days a week, suggested Member of Parliament for Mountbatten SMC, Mr Lim Biow Chuan. He asked that this be made policy and called for the Education Ministry to reduce the primary and secondary school curriculum by 20 to 30 per cent.
Speaking in Parliament on Friday (May 30), Mr Lim, who is also chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, noted that some parents questioned why so much homework was being assigned to students, especially those in primary school.
He added young students are stressed, with some having to work late into the night to finish their homework. "Parents fear that even as they set aside time for their children, it is their children who do not have time for them anymore."
Mr Lim also suggested that students should be able to complete their homework within school hours, helping to ease the workload of teachers and also allowing them to spend time with their families as well.
He said many parents feel that it is more important for students to pick up character values, rather than be stressed over assignments and tests. "I'm concerned that in our desire to develop our children holistically, we may inadvertently take away their childhood," he said.
Mr Lim said children should also be allowed to explore independently and develop creativity in a less structured manner. "In today's world, it's really more important to know how to learn, rather than just accumulating knowledge. Whatever I do not know today, I would be able to find out most of the answers through the Internet."
Mr Lim also said he disagreed with MP for Marine Parade GRC Seah Kian Peng's view that the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is "past its time". Instead, he said the PSLE is a useful tool to help schools allocate their resources and assist children in achieving their best. He said what is important is to ensure that there are many different pathways to success. - CNA/ec
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