China / Society

Written-homework ban receives mixed reception

By MA LIE in Xi’an (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-19 00:54

An instruction by the education authority in Shaanxi province for primary schools not give written homework to pupils in grades one and two to prevent myopia has been both welcomed and questioned by parents.

In a survey by local media, of 496 parents who responded, 437 supported the measure and 59 questioned it.

Thirty percent of respondents said their children would do written homework for three hours a night, 50 percent said they would do it for one to two hours and 20 percent for less than an hour.

Pupils who were asked if they liked the no-homework measure answered "yes", and some parents agreed with their children.

A parent named Song, whose daughter is a second-grade pupil in Xi'an, said it was very good news for the children as they had too much pressure in their studies.

Another resident named Wen, whose daughter is also a second-grade pupil, said, "My girl did homework for three hours after school and had almost no time to play. Once, she was given 10 pages of written homework, which made her cry, and she had to make every effort to complete it."

But some parents did not agree that written homework should be banned for first- and second-grade students.

One, surnamed Lei, said that written homework did not inevitably lead to myopia. "Necessary and appropriate written homework can help children consolidate the knowledge they learned in school," said Lei, whose son is a first-grade student.

Wang Yumei, whose son will enter middle school in the fall, said she wanted him to do more homework because she hoped this would help him go to a better school.

The provincial education department also suggested that primary school pupils sleep for at least 10 hours a night, middle school students for nine hours and high school students for eight hours.

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