Homework should aid learning instead of tormenting students, says education chief

Hong Kong’s education chief said on Friday that school homework should be able to help students learn instead of tormenting them, while schools should emphasize quality over quantity when assigning them and avoid study drills.

Her comments came as lawmakers called on the Education Bureau to consider imposing maximum hours for students’ homework.

In response, Secretary for Education Christine Choi Yuk-lin said authorities had previously implemented similar measures and found the move unable to address the different learning levels of students.

Some students may have spent a lot of time on their homework, but that does not mean the homework assigned by schools was meaningless, she said.

Choi noted that schools should have comprehensive planning for their homework assignments, while schools’ different subject panels should step up cooperation in focusing on the quality of the homework assigned to students.

The education chief added that students were tormented by their homework mostly because they aim for top marks and have to make many corrections fine-tuning their homework to avoid mistakes - which stretched their time spent on homework.

She said authorities have begun promoting parent education in the kindergarten stage and called on parents not to pressure schools for more homework for their children.

Meanwhile, DAB lawmaker Edward Leung Hei expressed concerns that students’ daily routines could be disrupted when schools resume full-day classes, causing them to finish their homework late.

He also said one of the reasons for Hongkongers to emigrate is that their children have been assigned too much homework.