Date
27 May 2017
Primary school students in Hong Kong are weighed down by lots of homework, as seen in one student's homework list (inset) for the Easter holidays. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook
Primary school students in Hong Kong are weighed down by lots of homework, as seen in one student's homework list (inset) for the Easter holidays. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook

Students find homework suffocating, survey finds

Half of Hong Kong’s students have to complete seven or more school assignments each day, and 40 percent are getting less than eight hours of sleep daily, Apple Daily reported Tuesday, citing a recent survey.

Caritas Youth and Community Service (CYCS) conducted the survey in January and February among 1,838 students in Primary 5 and 6 from 23 schools across the city.

While 35.7 percent of the students have a daily average of seven to eight school assignments, 19.8 percent, or one in five, said they have nine, 10 or even more pieces of homework every day.

One in three (34 percent) of students surveyed said they have five to six pieces of homework each day, and those who have four or fewer assignments each day made up less than one in 10 of the students.

As to the amount of time spent on completing homework, 19.1 percent of students said they would need three to four hours each day, while 4.7 percent said they spend five or even six hours a day on homework.

Many students go with less sleep than they need: 7.9 percent said they are getting five or fewer hours of sleep every night.

A Primary 5 student said he usually goes to bed at around midnight after doing his homework, and on one occasion he had to stay up to do homework until 2 a.m.

He said he gets sleepy in class the next day, finds it hard to concentrate and often fails to jot down notes written by the teacher on the blackboard.

One student said dealing with the large amount of homework was like hanging oneself to death.

The survey found nearly half of the students feel negative toward homework and revision.

CYCS  social worker Chan Wai-kit said the heavy burden of homework, which has often translated into lack of sleep for students, undermines their creativity.

Paediatrician Fanny Lam Wai-fan said sleep is important for brain growth. Children between five and 12 years old require 10 to 11 hours of sleep each day, she said.

FDBWA Chow Chin Yau School was among the pioneers in cutting down on the amount of homework and examinations to alleviate the pressure on students, starting two years ago.

Shum Yiu-kwong, the principal, said that despite the school’s good intentions, some parents challenged the reform and decided to sign up for additional tutorial classes for their children using the time freed up from schoolwork.

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EL/AC/FL

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Students find homework “suffocating”, survey finds

The Caritas Youth and Community Service (CYCS) said a recent survey has found that over half of local students have to complete seven or more school assignments each day, while 40 percent of students are getting less than eight hours of sleep daily, the Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

The survey, which was conducted in January and February on 1,838 primary five and six students from 23 schools across Hong Kong, revealed that 35.7 percent of the respondents have to deal with a daily average of seven to eight school assignments, while 19.8 percent said they have nine, ten or even more pieces of homework on a daily basis.

Only 34 percent of students surveyed said they have around five to six pieces of homework each day, those who have four or fewer assignments each day only made up less than ten percent of the total respondents.

As to the amount of time spent on completing homework, 19.1 percent of students said they would need three to four hours each day, while 4.7 percent said they spend five or even six hours a day on homework a day.

While sleep has become an increasingly scarce commodity, 7.9 percent of students said they are only getting five or fewer hours of sleep every day. A primary five student said he usually goes to bed at around midnight after doing homework, and there was one time he had to stay awake for homework until 2am the next day.

He said he would get sleepy in class the next day and finds it hard to concentrate and often fails to jot down notes written by the teacher on the blackboard.

One respondent said it was like hanging oneself to death dealing with the large amount of homework. The survey found nearly half of the students feeling negative towards homework and revisions.

Social worker Chan Wai-kit from the CYCS said the heavy burden of homework, which has often translated to the lack of sleep time for students, would undermine their creativity.

Specialist in Paediatrics Dr Fanny Lam Wai-fan said sleep is important for the brain growth among children, with children aged between five and 12 requiring ten to 11 hours of sleep each day.

In alleviating students’ homework pressure, FDBWA Chow Chin Yau School was among the frontrunners to cut down on the amount of homework and examinations for its students since two years ago.

School principal Shum Yiu-kwong said despite the good intention, the reform was met with challenges from some of the parents, who have opted to sign up additional tutorial classes for their children using the time freed up from school.

- Contact us at [email protected]

EL/AC

 

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