Students take their school oath in Manila [Illustrative image] Image Credit: Reuters

Manila: Efforts in the legislature to do away with assigning homework to students in basic education drew the support from an unlikely quarter — the Department of Education (DepEd).

“The Department of Education supports the no-homework policy proposed by legislators from the House of Representatives,” the DepEd said in a statement.

It said that since 2010 it had been advocating for an all-inclusive learning regime for Filipino students, to include out of the classroom schooling, a policy that will, in effect, restrict teachers from giving homework to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

“With its issuance of the ‘Guidelines on Giving Homework or Assignment to All Public Elementary School Pupils’, the DepEd reiterates its commitment to the holistic development of learners inside and outside the classroom.

According to Education Secretary Leonor Briones, the aim of the issuance was for “learners to have more quality time with their parents, family, and friends by limiting the homework/assignment to a reasonable quantity on school days and by eliminating the same during weekends”.

But while the education department embraces the “no homework” concept in basic education, a lack of an enabling law stood in the way of its implementation in the classrooms.

House Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero has submitted to the House of Representatives the Bill to make the “no homework” rule in classrooms, a reality.

“The objective will always be to improve and develop our educational system and be able to mould our students and pupils as productive members of our society equipped with the right and appropriate education,” she said.

“It is a bill that is grounded on studies and experiences as an educator myself for 25 years,” the lawmaker from Sorsogon said.

The DepEd said that in supporting the no-homework policy being pushed in the House of Representatives, it hopes that the concept will enable Filipino earners “to find balance between their academic development and personal growth by having ample time for enjoyable activities with family.”

It had been observed that obsession by parents and students for academic excellence had somehow affect the social well-being of pupils.