SINGAPORE - To reduce stress and promote family bonding, schools should have at least two homework-free days a week, suggested Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) yesterday.
"This will benefit not only the students but will also ease the workload of the teachers who can then spend more time with their own families."
He urged the Minister of Education to make this a policy, and also consider cutting the primary and secondary school curricula by 20 to 30 per cent.
His suggestions stemmed from a concern that young students are under stress. Many parents ask why their children are given so much work, especially at the primary school level, he noted.
"I am concerned that in our desire to develop our children holistically, we may inadvertently take away their childhood," he added.
However, he defended the Primary School Leaving Examination against Mr Seah Kian Peng's (Marine Parade GRC) view that it is "past its time". The PSLE helps schools allocate resources to assist students to achieve their best, said Mr Lim.
"For those who do not have interest in academic subjects, it is better to assess them earlier and allow them to choose a different path so that they can excel in a different manner."
What is important is having different paths to success: "So if a student does not do well in PSLE, he must not think that it is the end of the world."
This article was first published on May 31, 2014.
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