SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA AND TOO MANY HOME WORK By Yahaya Idris, Abuja
After every hectic day at work, parents come back home to face another stressor called homework. In Nigeria, most schools believe that keeping children with lots and lots of homework is the best way to keep them busy at home. In our mentality, more homework equals academic excellence.
In Nigeria, teachers are becoming lazy by the day. Teachers now use homework to transfer responsibilities for which they are being paid for to parents. When putting a Nigerian child through his homework, you get so frustrated even when the child happens to be the best in the class. Teachers now give children assignments on topics yet to be treated or on topics not well treated. Sometimes, you get so frustrated that you’re tempted to approach the childrens’ school and ask for reduction in the amount of homework
During holidays, irrespective of how short spanned the break is, whether weekends, mid-terms, terminal, independence, Childrens’ Day, religious breaks, etc. Nigerian schools use such opportunities to bombard children with homework upon homework. All with the aim of getting them grounded in their academics. And yet, our educational system has nothing to show for all these stress. Even the best of private schools still pay examination bodies to allow malpractices even during common entrance examinations.
But what really is the benefit of homework on children? Well, in 2009, a Canadian couple won legal battles that exempt their offspring from homework. They successfully argued that there is no clear evidence that homework improves academic performance. The couple decided to lunch their legal battle after struggling for years to get their three reluctant children do school work outside their classroom. This exemption from homework for their kids came with some conditions. Of which is a promise by the children to get their work done in class, to come to school prepared, and to revise for test. And they must read daily.
Also, in 2018, student at a Quebec school were celebrating a new policy that aim to give children enough time to do all their homework in class. The school principal argued that student shouldn’t spend six hours working at school and then be expected to do two more extra hours of work at home. He said that “we want student to be at home, being with their families, being with their friends, playing and being children”
Research has shown that while homework has a significant benefit at secondary school level, there is no benefit at primary school level. Also, homework can leave effect on students’ health, social life, and grades. Student gets frustrated, overwhelmed, and unmotivated. Too much homework can cause lack of sleep, headache and exhaustion. Also, student with lots of homework have less time to spend with their families and friends. This can lead to children feeling isolated.
So, when next teachers plan to give children plenty homework, they should remember that with exhaustion and too much homework, children will always rely on their parents to complete their homework. As a result, the benefit of homework is lost.
Yahaya Idris, Abuja