Children in Nagaland overburdened with homework, concur stakeholders

A Class-5 student and a Class-B student doing their homework.The mother of the two siblings also expressed concern over excessive homework while citing that the Class-5 student has homework in all the 8 subjects during this summer vacation. (Morung Photo)

A Class-5 student and a Class-B student doing their homework.The mother of the two siblings also expressed concern over excessive homework while citing that the Class-5 student has homework in all the 8 subjects during this summer vacation. (Morung Photo)

Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | July 7

'Earnest request to schools and teachers! Please stop giving homework and projects to students during vacations. Allow the kids and families to enjoy their holidays. Why should they stay back home or travel around with school books?' 

This recent social media post by Colo Mero has struck a chord with both parents and teachers, as the issue of "too much homework" has become a common refrain.

Mero no longer has children in school, but he said that he is sharing the concern on behalf of other parents and children, drawing from his own past experiences. 

It resonated with other stakeholders.

“As a teacher, I have been suggesting this to the administration, but as an employee, there is a chance for them to misunderstand and think we are trying to run away from duty,” noted a teacher on condition of anonymity, but hoping that the post gets deserved attention.

On the other end, a parent noted: “Whether vacation time or weekend, (there is) too much homework. Children are supposed to learn at school and not at home. In fact, parents and guardians are more burdened doing their kids’ and wards’ homework than the children.” 

“Project is for parents and homework is also for parents. Schools don’t give projects to students, they give to parents,” a comment to the post read. 

Advisor, CAWD & Taxes, Kudecho Khamo also reacted saying: “I will be more than happy if homework is not given during weekends. Children can have more opportunities beyond academic excellence.”

Besides, Mero also highlighted another aspect of the issue observing that some schools give endless assignments to teachers and staff depriving them of holidays.

“These employees are helpless but sacrifice their vacation and family time doing school chores,” he added. 

‘Free academic activities during summer breaks’
Reacting to the issue, Wetshete Joseph Thopi, an Assistant Professor stressed that children should be free from academic activities during vacation.

“Vacation should be purely vacation for children, free from the stress of having things to do at the back of their minds. Let them fully enjoy their time, free from studies and learn other things that can make them happy and useful,” supplemented Dr Esther Krocha.

She further underscored that while all students may not be equally good in studies, all deserve a break to reset and recharge.
This goes for the teachers too, Dr Krocha said, opining that both will focus better after the reset. 

Khrieseno Kikhi Zao, a parent, also highlighted the increasing difficulty of finding quality family time on a daily basis, with homework burden being one of the main causes. 

“When family dynamics is not in good harmony, it affects everything, mostly studies and work. Short vacations are a good time to focus on family interactions, bonding, building skills by doing things with family members etc, just keeping aside everything…,” she elaborated. 

School authorities and even employers need to understand and consider this crucial factor, she added.  

For Chekrovei Cho-o, holidays are holidays ‘not an extension of education from school to home.’ “Holidays are meant for both physical and mental retreat, for socialising and rejuvenation in order to excel in the students’ career ahead,” he added, terming homework and projects during such period as creating excess baggage, possibly breeding fatigue. 

Strict implementation of ‘Homework Policy’
To tackle these concerns, Anenla S Longchari pointed out that there is the “homework policy” applicable in schools across India.
The policy recommends that students of Classes 2 and below should not be assigned any homework while those from Classes 3 to 5 can be given a maximum of 2 hours a week.

The maximum homework per day for students of Class 6 to 8 is 1 hour while the limit is 2 hours for Classes 9 to 12. 

The Department of School Education can issue a reminder of the policy and ensure compliance, she underlined. 

Meanwhile, Aziebu Shaiza proposed substituting homework by sending children to villages to learn about cultivation and gain insight into the ways of elders.

 “I am not in favour of too many summer camps or VBS (Vacation Bible School),” he shared. 

Mention may be made here that during vacations, most school children are preoccupied with summer camps and VBS in Nagaland.  

Another concern raised during the course of the discussion was the increasing number of assignments and projects imposed upon the children, often costly. 

“Children have to visit distant areas to do practical research and purchase tons of things to build and prepare their projects while some schools have class tests in multiple subjects almost every day,” Rilo Therie articulated.

‘This needs to be corrected. The public must insist that institutions implement the homework policy strictly,’ he added. 

Concurring, Chubaren Longchari Ozukum highlighted that not all families have the same background and some can’t afford,” and expressed concern that some might miss out on the benefits of such assignments, particularly in terms of earning internal mark.

All Saturdays should be off for students and teachers while adding that, “they are all overworked!” asserted another concerned citizen.