Private schools also want homework ban, says DepEd chief

By Kimberly Jane T. Tan – Private schools are also supporting a Department of Education (DepEd) memorandum prohibiting public elementary school teachers from giving their pupils homework to do over the weekend, Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro said Monday.

“Our memo was meant for public schools but we get so many inquiries from private schools asking if they were covered by the order, saying that they are in support of it,” Luistro said after the Senate hearing on the proposed DepEd budget for next year.

Luistro added that some private schools are in fact, already implementing the so-called homework ban. “Ang alam namin yung iba ganoon na din [ang] ginagawa (From what we know, that’s what some private schools have been doing),” he said.

Luistro, however, did not identify the private schools supposedly in favor of the homework ban on weekends.

DepEd Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Yolanda Quijano earlier explained that Memorandum No. 392 was issued due to various complaints to the department that school children have been receiving “too many” assignments.

Luistro said the memorandum will allow pupils and students to spend more quality time with the family, time they would have previously spent on doing homework.

“Alam ninyo lahat ng studies nagpapakita na kapag ginawa natin ito.. pagpasok nila ng Lunes, mas attentive sila (Studies show that when you do this, the pupils are [more] attentive when they come to school on Monday),” he said.

Senator Edgardo Angara, chairman of Senate education committee, had earlier backed the DepEd memorandum. (See: Angara backs DepEd’s homework ban)

But Senator Pia Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate on youth, women and family relations, said that teachers should be “critical” of the memorandum because without homework to do on weekends, students might forget their lessons.

She likewise suggested that teachers should still “encourage light and creative” home assignments on weekends, which could include lessons on music and the arts.

“This way, the students will get to develop their creative side, even as they continue to learn and enjoy their weekends and bond with their parents at the same time,” she said.

Still, Cayetano said the classroom teacher is in the “best position” to decide the most appropriate teaching methods based on their students’ learning capacities.

“The memorandum is recommendatory and only meant as a reminder to educators of the value of balancing time between study, play, and family time, especially for grade school pupils,” she said.

Meanwhile, Luistro said the DepEd is “very happy” with their budget allocation of P207 billion. “In fact both in the House and in the Senate we’ve gotten a lot of support for the budget for education,” he said after the Senate hearing.

But he said that given the “overall shortages and challenges,” they could always ask for more. – via GMANews.TV

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