According to Strait times, students in Singapore spend an average of 9.4 hours a week on homework, behind only Russia and China. But while Russia and China lag behind in education, Singapore is said to have the ‘best education system in the world’ according to an OECD led study. This means Singapore’s schools are doing something right!
A spokesperson for Ministry of Education even said that the weekly 9.4 hours of homework is
“fairly reasonable for upper-secondary students, who would be preparing for the national examinations”
Research has shown that homework does help a child’s ability to learn on their own, grasp concepts better and improve their problem solving skills. The idea is to provide the right kind of ‘high quality’ homework as opposed to huge quantities of random assignments to complete.
While giving too much of homework to primary school students might not be a good idea, as these same children progress through school, their homework load and assignments should be increased gradually, in order for them to learn better. That is why a 16 year American research conducted between 1987 and 2003, found a highly positive correlation between high school students doing their homework and getting better grades.
Hence, it is important for teachers and schools to prepare homework which excites students, nurtures creativity, and helps them learn, think on their own and generally improve their ability to learn. There is no use if homework is going to be a simple repetition of what a child studied at school. Poorly designed homework will only hamper a child’s ability to learn, it can make them dislike studying and ultimately impact their grades in school.
The fact that Singapore has the best education system in the world makes it evident that our educational success lies not just in proper school curriculum but also specifically designed homework which helps students in their further education, preparing them for college studies and critical thinking.
We should also not forget the role of parents in this regard. Singaporean parents are especially careful at helping their children with their homework and generally understand the importance of quality education in helping shape a brighter future for their children.
A student in Singapore is spending a little less than 2 hour on their homework daily. These 2 hours can help define the difference between a weak student and a high achiever, and parents, need to make sure that those 2 hours bears fruit which will help their child redefine themselves and help them excel in school and future endeavours.
From the example of Singapore, it is very much clear that proper homework forms an important part in a student’s overall education and deservers’ rightful attention. Homework should be ‘learning’ and not ‘studying’ – the difference being that ‘learning’ is an enjoyable activity which a student takes a keen interest in.
A trained tutor knows how to make even the most mundane homework enjoyable, by turning questions into exciting quizzes and games, preparing relevant assignments, and gaining the interest and attention of a child. Perhaps, it may be a good idea to hire a home tutor to help your children with after-school studies.