November Weekends Without Homework is just the first step in the CEAPA‘s campaign that intends to bring about the total elimination of school homework.
The Chairman of the CEAPA, José Luis Pazos, announced their aims at a press call convoked to deliver their analysis of the beginning of the school year. “We want to recover free time for our children, above all and especially, at an early age,” he explained.
The whole campaign is entitled, School’s Missing a Subject; My Free Time.
One of the tasks envisaged in the campaign is to bring awareness to the fact that you can’t have a modern and complete educational system for the 21st Century based on last century’s model.
Another point raised is the negative impact that homework has on schoolchildren’s daily lives, in their health and their rights as boys and girls.
Homework, they feel, although it sounds a contradiction, should be included within the school working day.
You can find out more about the campaign at www.educacionsindeberes.org, which has been especially set up to support the campaign. There is a video where a snail, which characterizes a schoolchild, is weighed down with a large satchel of books.
“I have the right to play, think, get bored and enjoy my childhood and adolescence, but homework stops me,” or “My school day is longer than an adults,” are just two of the complaints made by the ‘snail.’
Sr. Pozos explained that starting from yesterday, the 22nd of September, information about the campaign would begin to make its way down through the school parents’ associations across the country. Then in October, education administrations and teachers will be ‘made aware’ of the campaign’s objective.
“Homework is not obligatory under the law,” said the Chairman, which is why the November action is being taken.
“We are going to ask the administration and especially the teachers that during November, at least, there should be no weekend homework, so that we can share some of our free time with our kids,” he pointed out, adding, “we also ask the parents that if their children do receive weekend homework consignments, they should not make their kids do it, letting them go to school on Monday without the homework completed.”
They will also provide parents with documents that back up their refusal to impose homework and also to explain when to permit homework and when not to.
Furthermore, the CEAPA wants to make it clear that they do not want a confrontation with teachers as they consider them as allies, but at the same time, no parent will have to refuse homework for their children, if teachers do not impose it on their pupils.
Chairman Pozos admits that there will be those (teachers, etc) that consider that they have the academic freedom to do as they please, but that this would be an erroneous application of academic freedom as that would mean that they have the right to decide what happens in people’s homes, which are strictly private domains.
He considers that parents do not have to justify their actions before teachers, head teachers or educational centres as not making children do weekend homework would be a domestic decision taken in household.
At the press call CEAPA presented a survey report on children’s rights, taken amongst parents and schoolchildren. The survey shows that 43.24% of schoolchildren considered that they dedicate more time to homework than they wanted or more than they expected, whilst 32.43% thought that it was a ‘lot of time.’ A further 10.81% considered homework excessive, whilst 14.86% thought that their homework assignment was very little.
As for the parents, 40.89% of them considered that their children spent more time than they, the parents, wanted or expected; 27.86% that it was ‘a lot of time,’ and 13.02% considered the time spent on homework was excessive.
Lastly, one in five of the people asked put the average time spent on homework as two hours.
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