House Bill 3611, otherwise known as An Act Promoting the Holistic Development of Basic Education Students By Establishing a No-Homework Policy for Kinder to Grade 12 and Proscribing the Taking of Textbooks Out of the School for Kinder to Grade 6 Students in all Public and Private Schools, was finally filed before the House of Representatives Bills and Index Division last August 7, 2019. The short title of the bill is “Taking of Textbooks Out of School and No-Homework Policy of 2019” act. The said bill was introduced by House Deputy Speaker Evelina G. Escudero.
Under the explanatory note of the bill, House Bill No. 3611 “seeks the elimination of homework assignments and prohibiting the taking of textbooks outside of the school” to “lighten the physical burden of schoolchildren and promote quality family interaction” and “to compel schools and teachers to come up with a more holistic and effective pedagogy”.
House Bill No. 3611 was proposed pursuant to the aim of the State to safeguard the general welfare and interests of school children and protect them from conditions that may adversely affect their health and their right to a balanced life.
The pertinent provisions of House Bill No. 3611 provide:
Sec. 4. No-homework Assignment. – All basic education schools shall make sure that their respective teachers shall not give homework assignments to Kinder to Grade 12 students by conducting all lessons and activities in school.
Sec. 5. No Taking of Textbooks Home. – All basic education schools shall ensure that all Kinder to grade 6 students shall deposit and leave their textbooks in school and no textbooks shall be brought home to prevent the adverse effects of carrying heavy bags to-and-from school.
Sec. 6. Lockers. – All basic education schools shall ensure that each student shall have a locker or a dedicated space that will serve as safe depository for students’ textbooks.
On the other hand, Representative Alfred Vargas has also introduced House Bill 3883 entitled An Act Establishing a No Homework Policy for all Elementary and High Schools in the Country.
The explanatory notes of House Bill 3883 states that in 2018, a study in South Africa shows that “homework is burdensome for students and parents” and it also “undermines learning interest” and does impact family life in a negative way. Said studies show also that “homework is associated with academic achievement”.
Section 2 of the said HB 3883 states that “All Elementary and High Schools in the country shall not allow teachers to give any homework or assignments to their students over the weekend”.
The public has mixed opinions on the move to ban elementary and high school students from doing homework. Around social media, some welcome this policy, agreeing that homework is a stressor for children that would deprive them of quality time with family at home. However, the other side of the coin vehemently argues that doing homework teaches the children the value of hard work and diligence and instills discipline in them, which values are helpful when they become adults in the future. Moreover, it is also contended that taking homework out of the equation does not necessarily equate to more family time because it cannot be discounted that with much free time at home after school, the children will have idle time to hang out in the internet which would be counter- productive, not to mention that their parents may also be busy as well.
The Department of Education has expressed its support on the No-Homework Policy.
Download a copy of House Bill 3611
Download a copy of House Bill 3883