Schools should strive not to give students homework where possible, Ireland’s president suggested.
In a statement likely to be seized upon by children for years to come, in classrooms far beyond the shores of the Emerald Isle, Michael D. Higgins argued that school should not extend beyond the final bell.
“School time…must end at school,” the president told pupils at a school in County Tipperary this week during a broadcast for RTE.
Children should be able to use their time at home “for other creative things,” Higgens continued.
Reiterating his point, the 81-year-old president added: “To the extent possible, I think [homework] It should happen at school and I think it’s more relaxed than it used to be.”
Pupils at St Kevin’s National School in Littleton asked Mr Higgins for his views on the homework, during a broadcast celebrating the 20th anniversary of RTE’s children’s news programme, with viewers sending their questions to the Chairman.
Asked if he had a message for the children of Ireland, the president, who has been in office since 2011, said: “Stay curious about everything. Make sure you don’t miss out on the joy of getting information.
“And I think that one important thing is friendship, and that no one is left without friendship.”
Suggesting that the children of Ireland place a “great value” on friendship, Higgins lamented that this makes it all the more tragic when there is “abuse of bullying phones”.
Mr Higgins revealed that, having started school himself at the age of seven, his love of reading soon led him to decide that he wanted to be a teacher, and he attended adult teacher training before spending 25 years at the Lower House of Ireland. of the Dáil Éireann parliament.
It’s not the first time Mr. Higgins has offered his thoughts on raising children. Last year, on his 80th birthday, Mr Higgins suggested that yoga should be taught in schools across Ireland.
The research suggests that Mr Higgins is far from alone in his views on the task, at least in the UK.
A 2018 survey of parents by British education regulator Ofsted found that more than a third did not think homework was useful for primary school children.
Homework is a “big cause of stress” for many families, and for children with special educational needs or disabilities it can be detrimental to their health, Ofsted was told.