Should homework be scrapped?


Students at Sun Valley Primary have shown a great improvement in academics ever since the principal decided to do away with school homework

Read more: Is homework really necessary?

Gavin Keller, principal of Sun Valley Primary in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, recently told Cape Talk radio about his decision to replace homework with a 'personal performance task' strategy, and the positive results they saw in the students' academic progress.

What is a personal performance task strategy?

While most homework structures focus specifically on academics (uniform structures), positive performance tasks focus on the practical skills applied by an individual student when preparing for a school oral or an assignment.

The aim is to create a sense of balance so that students don't have to spend extra hours focusing on the same thing that they would've been doing all day at school. 

"We made sure that the 7 hours they spend at school are so focused, so on task, so full of fun that after school there's still time to play sport, have their friends around, and in the evening they can still go to bed and read." 

Many parents and students are familiar with the overwhelming amount of homework that takes up a large amount of after-school time. This makes the participation of other after-school activities such as sport and music less of a focus and puts pressure on parents and students.

Less homework, more quality time? 

In some schools, children as young as 4 are given homework, whereas afterschool activities like socialising and physical play should usually more of a focus at such a young age.

Gavin Keller told Cape Talk that academic performance has boosted significantly ever since his school did away with homework across all grades in the third term. 

"We've actually seen an increase in academic results, an increase in motivation levels and an increase in reading," he says. 

We asked our Facebook members what they thought of the idea of scrapping homework and focus on other aspects of child development: 

"My son is so small, I say homework must go"
"Oh man, how awesome would that be! All schools should implement this!" -Yolika Muscat 
"So true my son in grd2 has so much home work that we only finish at 4:00pm, its ridiculous" -Chontelle Breedt 

"It helps to give them a little, but they shouldn't give too much. Instead of progressing, the child I look after is getting confused. The homework is too much. Having too much work doesn't mean quality education. its just quantity education." -Lydia Gogoda

"Oh please please please! I mean kids are becoming all too consumed with school work, it's absolutely ridiculous! I'm okay with them learning responsibility and working hard, but seriously our children are becoming stress zombies before they even get a CHANCE at starting real life." -Raygaanah Khan

"My son has to study and still do assignments at the same time. Then there's orals and mondelinge in between. Not to mention sport" -Colette Giquel Rossouw 

 "My son is in Gr 1 and he gets so much homework I sometimes sit the whole day with him. Its not fair because he's so small. When can he play because after that its time for bath and supper then bed? Shame, he is so small, I say homework must go." -Sue Ellen Davis Potgieter

Your turn:

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