Over 70% of students don't like homework, survey says

January 16, 2017 13:56
Most schoolchildren have developed negative feelings toward homework. Photo: New Kid Centre, Facebook/不願小朋友成為功課奴隸

More than seven in 10 schoolchildren have negative feelings toward homework while the majority of parents believe students should be given a break from homework once in a while, a survey showed.

The survey was conducted by the Happy Teens Club of Hong Kong Christian Services from August to October last year.

Of the more than 700 respondents, 40 percent were students while the rest were parents.

Over 70 percent of the students regarded homework as “annoying” and “boring”, while more than half of the parents regarded homework as one of the causes of family conflicts, Headline Daily reports.

About 60 percent of the parents said students should have no homework at least one day every week while 55 percent said they should not be given homework at least one day of each month.

Nearly 60 percent of the students and over 40 percent of the parents surveyed said they were unable to relate homework to any positive reference, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Only 17 percent of the students thought homework is useful in learning, developing critical thinking skills, and helping them memorize information.

More than 70 percent of the students said they should not be given homework during long holidays such as Christmas and Lunar New Year.

Mrs. Lo, a mother of two, said homework could be very difficult and time-consuming, citing as an example a 200-page Chinese book she had to read with her primary three son to help him write a book report.

Most of the time her son had to work till 11 p.m. to finish all his homework.

But since her son switched schools, his workload has been reduced, allowing him to learn life skills such as how to cook, tidy up his clothes and tie shoelaces.

Chu Lai-ying from the HKCS suggests that Hong Kong should follow Taiwan’s example and stop assigning homework during long holidays.

Dion Chen, principal at YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College, said secondary school homework is more flexible, while primary students are expected to finish their homework within the day, Headline Daily said.

He also suggests that it is possible to let students off earlier one day each week so they can exercise and relax, the Headline Daily reported.

Dr. Hau Kit-tai, a professor of educational psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the quality of homework is more important than the quantity.

He said some parents would still welcome homework and it is not appropriate to do away with it entirely.

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