No more homework on smartphones: Ministry of Education
Heated debate follows media reports that the Ministry of Education clarified that primary school teachers are not allowed to assign homework via WeChat, QQ or other instant messaging tools.
In reply to a proposal by a political adviser which was posted on the ministry’s website, the ministry reiterated that teaching and assigning homework should not be carried out solely through electronic devices. Teachers should not give homework that can only be finished by parents or ask parents to grade homework.
“In moving forward, the ministry will make clear that primary school teachers are not allowed to give homework through WeChat or QQ … so as to pass the burden on to parents,” it said in the response.
The announcement was posted on the ministry’s website in October 2018, but went largely unnoticed until China Youth Daily picked it up on Friday.
The report soon caused divided opinions among netizens. Some welcomed it for relieving huge pressure from parents and protecting kids’ eyes as parents look to limit their children's time on digital devices.
On Weibo, a netizen called “Baixiaopa” said: “Children would become less independent and responsible as they don’t need to memorize homework every day since they can always find it on their parents’ cellphones.” Another identified as “dongbeixiaozhuzai” complained that some homework was too difficult and clearly required parental help to finish.
Netizen “AmoteTianxiaoguai” said children’s eyesight is getting worse and worse as almost every child she knows receives their homework on cellphones.
But others are against the regulations as they enjoy the conveniences of technology. “Ccmysunshine” said: “Don’t over react. It’s right not to shift homework to parents, but what’s wrong with using technology to simply assign homework?”