Thu, 18 Jul, 2024

Homework and Vacation

By Sushil Awale

Homework and vacation are like the poles of a magnet - never agreeing with each other. It is that time of year again - clear skies, chilly mornings, and euphoria in the air. Dashain is just around the corner, and schools have started to close for the two-to-four week Dashain vacations. I remember, back in my school days, how excited I used to be for the month long vacation and the joy it brought - family get-together, delicious foods, flying kites, and especially not having to wake up early in the morning. I also remember the agony of the last few days before the vacation - teachers piling up homework. The fun was all gone even before the vacation started. I never like the idea of doing homework on my vacation, and I'm sure many students would say the same. Teachers, however, do not share the same thought. Most of the teachers think providing homework during the vacation keeps the student in touch with the things they had taught, and when the school resumes the students can easily get along. And most of them advise on spanning the homework throughout the vacation which of course no-one followed. However, in my opinion, the teachers take on this is flawed. Vacation, by definition, means the act of leaving things one was occupied with and spend the free time to one's liking. So how can homework during vacation be justified? It is doing the same thing as in school but at home. My grade 11 English teacher did not give us any homework because he shared the same thought and instead suggested us to read a book to one's liking. I liked my English teacher. Homework for vacation, if given, should be fun and creative, and not repetitive and compulsory. Homework such as solving old question sets or exercises that revise materials taught in class do not help the students to learn; it only prepares them for the exams. Some teachers might argue that these sorts of homework help the student to retain what he/she had learned. Well, if the student needs constant reminding then maybe he/she was not taught well in the first place. Moreover, without the guidance of teachers students might not get all the answers right which makes the whole work fruitless. Teachers never properly check the homework or give any feedback and without feedback homework is not as effective. Instead of spending unproductive hours on homework, the student could have spent the time in more productive work. Homework during the vacation impede the students from social activities such as socializing and traveling. Vacations are the perfect time to go to camps, do volunteer work, travel to new places. However, tons of homework binds the students to the confinements of the house or else degraded work. Some of my friends completed their month-long homework in just a few days because they had to go to their villages for the Dashain. They never did their homework with the motive to learn rather just complete them and be done with them. Teachers are well aware of this going-back-to-village activity during Dashain, and they also understand that the students do not do their homework properly. So why do the teachers give homework for vacation? Homework has always been a topic of debate. Critics argue that homework makes a student less creative, less curious and takes the fun out of learning. Vacations are just the opposite. It is the time for a student to be creative, curious, explore, and to do what the student wishes to do. Homework and vacation are like the poles of a magnet - never agreeing with each other. It is best to leave homework only for the school days so that students enjoy the break from school and take an essential mental breather. image: