ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - September 7, 2019 - 12:00am

In my almost four decades of teaching in basic education and college levels, I believe in the importance of giving homework or assignments to students. I also believe that our students have other responsibilities or roles expected of them; as daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters when they are in their homes. And striking a balance is important.

Looking at the relevance of giving assignments, spoonfeeding is profoundly not prescribed with regards to teaching students. It ruins their learning capacities, consequently making the whole point of education futile. Schools are the places where an educator clears up ideas and asks that the students have to learn also in their homes on their own.

Some, if not most of our students, plainly think that it is their task to learn as it is the responsibility of the teachers to teach them. Such type of simplistic arrangement can destroy the learning capabilities and academic career of a student. It kills our students with kindness. Because the fact is, a teacher cannot deliver every single detail to every student related to any subject.

In any case, the principal reason for such assignments is to expand the learning capacities of our students so they can think critically, and develop more. This is a demonstrated logical reality and this is the principle behind giving very innovative assignments to the students. They become familiar with much more when they read or work on something independent from anyone else.

Building the practical skills of our students, for instance, in subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and comparable science subjects requires practice continually. The more they practice the better they become.

Different assignments one after another improve students’ time management skills. They figure out how to deal with the timetable just as how to prioritize tasks. This is the key part to prevail in any field of life. Students figure out how to organize on the premise or earnest versus significant and become successful not only in the student life but professional life also.

So the advantages are endless and the possibilities are many but the problem is that some students don’t like assignments. They want to enjoy their lives to the fullest, which, if they think about, they can do on their own if they are able to manage their time.

Teachers are trained in line with timing and relevance of giving assignments. They know that homework should be a review or further practice of something learned in class. They think about the objective of each homework assignment before giving it to make sure that it will actually benefit them. They use a variety of exercises rather than the same ones over and over again. Once students have completed homework, they have to check them. They make sure to collect all homework assignments even if all they do is ensure that they have been completed. When they return the homework assignments to their students they give them another opportunity to ask questions about the material and encourage students with questions about their grades.

But perhaps somewhere some teachers have crossed the line because nowadays students know if homework is really benefiting them. The parents as well feel that their children are already bombarded with schoolwork at home that their children cannot anymore assume other roles to attain a balanced existence.

The bottom-line is that life after school has myriad and oftentimes conflicting priorities. Training them as early in school and at home, with the guidance of their parents for early years, would eventually make them prepared for what the outside world requires of them.

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