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'Homework strike' for November called as parents reveal kids have no free time until after 20.00 at night
PARENT-TEACHER associations have called a 'homework strike' for November after a recent survey revealed that 48.5% of mums and dads believe the amount of extra studying children have to do after school is affecting family life.
The Confederation of PTAs, CEAPA, wants homework to be axed altogether – following on from the 'Finland model' where education standards and results are the best in the world despite shorter hours and no studying at home.
Parents who join in the strike will formally ask their children's schools not to set them any homework over the weekends that month and, if they do so anyway, will send a note with the pupil on Monday explaining in their own words why this work was not done.
A study by CEAPA of the first half of 2016, up to and including the end of the summer term, includes responses from 1,748 pupils' parents, of whom 92% are in State-run schools.
Of these, 58.81% are in primary school and 25.64% are in the two-year run-up to their ESO, Spain's answer to GCSEs.
Just over one in five say their children spend over two hours a day on homework on school nights, and 58.82% say their kids' grades suffer if they do not do part or all of it.
Given that standard primary school hours finish at 17.00, by the time the child has got home, had a quick snack and settled, and completed two hours of homework even without a break in the middle, he or she will not be free to enjoy the evening until 20.00 at least.
And many children have after-school sports, music, English and remedial classes lasting at least and hour or two several nights a week, meaning once homework is finished, the youngsters will have had no free time until after 22.00.
Overall, 41% of parents believe the amount of time spent on homework is too much, 28% say it is 'way too much' and 13% consider it 'excessive'
And nearly 40% say homework obligations get in the way of the child's basic needs such as rest, bath and eating.
The research includes opinions of 472 children, of whom nearly three in 10 say they are forced to spend well over two hours a night on homework.
Four in 10 say they never have enough time to play or rest after school and two-thirds say if their homework is not done, they get in trouble at school or lose grades.
And authorities' ongoing drive to promote good health, fight obesity and prevent circulation and chronic joint and muscular problems in adult life by urging parents to ensure their children get plenty of physical activity is wasted, since they do not have time to do so – even at weekends, where homework has to be finished for several subjects by Monday morning.
Spain's ministry of health has part-funded the CEAPA's research, and a report will be sent to its acting leader, Alfonso Alonso, shortly.
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