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Gatchalian to study no homework policy proposal 'carefully'

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the Senate committee on basic education chair, said proposals banning homework over the weekend will be "studied carefully," as measures have been filed in both chambers.

"I believe that our teachers are more than capable to discern what and how much homework to assign to their students to encourage good study habits and foster intellectual development," Gatchalian said in a statement on Wednesday, August 28.

"Having said that, we will, of course, study the proposal carefully," Gatchalian added.

The Senate basic education chair said that an efficient strategy that will result to better learner outcome is important.

While he did not completely shut down the idea, Gatchalian on Wednesday said that the priorities of his committee are to "ensure that the K-12 curriculum is up-to-date, responsive to the demands of the current job market, and calibrated to address job mismatch and underemployment." 

Senator Grace Poe has filed Senate Bill No. 966 on Tuesday, August 27 banning primary and secondary schools from giving students homework on weekends. She also seeks to prohibit teachers from giving assignments that wll take more than 4 hours to complete.

Similar measures had been filed at the House, Quezon City Representative Alfred Vargas' House Bill Number 388 has proposed penalties that are as high as P50,000 and prison time of up to two years.

Meanwhile, House Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero's HB 3611 has a provision prohibiting taking home textbooks for kinder to Grade 6 students.

In a report by GMA News Online, the Department of Education supported the idea of prohibiting giving assignments during weekends. Education chief Leonor Briones said she will issue guidelines on the matter, pending the approval of the measure. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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