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Make homework fun, CBSE tells schools

The CBSE has a set of guidelines and ways to incorporate different activities to enhance a child’s learning curve. File photo: S. Ramesh Kurup   | Photo Credit: S_RAMESHKURUP -

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has recommended that schools replace the word ‘homework’ with terms such as ‘practice work’ and ‘self work’. But this attempt to erase homework from the lexicon of our education system may not be a cosmetic change.

Solving puzzles, writing letters, putting together household lists, cooking, reading newspapers and watching documentaries and natural history programmes: that is what the board wants upper primary students from Classes 6 to 8 to do after school.

In a recently published manual, it urged teachers and heads of schools to club these activities with concepts from lessons. The manual — posted on the CBSE website — has a set of guidelines detailing how ‘practice work’ can be made interesting, and ways to incorporate different activities to enhance a child’s learning curve.

To enhance their mathematical skills, for example, the Board suggests that children can help parents plan the monthly household budget. Or, they can represent clothes in their wardrobe via pictographs.

The manual, which runs to 318 pages, says that schools can conduct discussions on the kind of after-school work students would like to do, and also design and structure the study load into easily manageable modules. It recommends that students make extensive use of newspapers and watch news channels. For social sciences, for instance, students can design a case study on a controversial law and discuss the solutions.

move has evoked a mixed response from teachers, students and parents. While students that The Hindu spoke to were excited about being freed from the tyranny of homework, several principals and teachers remain sceptical. “There is a need to stick to traditional homework as regular practice is required,” said Manilal Carvalho, principal, Delhi Public School, Bengaluru East. At the same time, she noted that more often than not, it’s the parents who pressure schools to give homework so that students are engaged productively.

Jyotsna Nair, principal, National Public School, Koramangala, said that the manual will help teachers get more ideas and be creative while allocating homework. “This is ideal for students from lower classes as high school students are still oriented towards the examination system. There is a need to strike a balance between this kind of homework and regular homework,” she said.

The Board framed these guidelines after conducting a survey that sought opinions from parents, teachers and students.

It stated that while all the respondents of the survey had unanimously agreed that homework was essential, there was a need to make it meaningful and interesting.

The guidelines address each grade — from six to eight separately — separately, and give detailed examples for every subject.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 3:07:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Make-homework-fun-CBSE-tells-schools/article14485009.ece

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