Students in over 250 UAE public schools will finally get their lifelong wish of throwing their homework right out of the window. The country's Ministry of Education announced last week that it would be abolishing homework starting Feb.16.
This decision will help students from 23 schools in Dubai and 233 in Abu Dhabi make the most of their time during school hours and at home. However, not only is homework out, but breaks during school time as well.
Selected classes will be merged together, with sessions such as English, mathematics, science, and technology and design adapted to 90-minute periods. The total school day hours will remain the same.
According to acting Executive Director for schools in the UAE Lubna Al Shamsi, the 90-minute sessions will be broken down as follows:
- The first five minutes of each session will be dedicated to mental stimulation.
- The next 50 minutes are for theoretical education.
- Finally, the remaining time will be solely for practical application.
This resolution is supposed to create an academic/home life balance which is essential for growth and personal development, Al Shamsi said, according to The National.
Students are probably more than excited about this new development. Their parents, however, have mixed feelings. Some parents are pro the "no homework" rule, believing it will give their children more time to experience life and practice their hobbies. On the other hand, a few guardians are worried their children will be left with extra time on their hands, leading to them just wasting it with technology and video games.
The "no homework" decision does not apply to students attending private schools in the country. The UAE's Knowledge and Human Development Authority said there were no plans so far to follow in the footsteps of government-run schools.
As life always has it, exceptions never fail to exist. Last year, some private schools announced they would be getting rid of homework. To date, at least three of them have stayed true to their words by either completely abolishing homework or, at the very least, restricting the amount given to their students.
Gavin Walford-Wright, Chief Marketing and Admissions Officer at education provider Taaleem, told Arabian Business they had no intention of removing homework from the curriculum.
"We have found a middle ground with the introduction of 'home practice' at schools like Dubai British School Jumeirah Park," Walford-Wright said.
He added that Taaleem believes in homework having a purpose rather than simply being something to fill time. They also believe that it should be something that does not need adult supervision and is engaging, fun, and flexible.