Story By: Conor Sheils, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Thousands of schoolchildren have been told they will no longer have to do any homework in wealthy Dubai and Abu Dhabi where parents have complained that their kids have no time for hobbies.
The new change applies to government-run schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai where teachers will no longer assign their pupils homework.
More than 200 schools in the cash-rich region are set to scrap homework after school lessons from 16th February in a move designed to improve teaching standards by making kids do more when they are at school.
Lubna Al Shamsi, acting executive director for schools told local media that the stunt will force pupils to make the best use of time during school hours.
Under the new scheme classes will now last 90 minutes with no break in between and each class featuring a five-minute session of mental stimulation and 50 minutes of tuition, with the remaining time spent on practical activities.
On Tuesday, parents were mixed in their response to the decision.
Emirati mum-of-two, Hind Al Naqbi, said her daughters, aged seven and 12, attend a public school in Abu Dhabi and never have time to pursue their hobbies.
She told local media: “My daughter is in grade seven and she used to love reading but had no time for activities she enjoys.
“I have to help my children and they get lots of homework. My husband and I often discuss that this is a problem for us as a family as we do not get time to even sit together.
“I am very happy that my children would be able to spend time with us.”
However, fellow Emirati mum-of-three, Nada Abushibs said she worried that children may not spend their spare time productively.
She told local media: “Children do not like studies and when they do not have homework, they don’t want to work anyway.
“For me, this is not a good decision. I feel that when pupils read and write, they understand their studies better.
“Children have a lot of time at home and sit with their headphones, watching movies or playing on their iPads.”
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