I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with K Narayanasamy's view that the Education Ministry should not play a regulatory role regarding students' homework. Too many issues are likely to be problematic should the ministry wish to do this.
1. Who would decide what regulations there should be, and would this be a fair deal given the different abilities of students within the state/country?
2. Will this 'regulation' of homework be a practical one from an implementation point of view? What of the students that are unable to keep up with the 'regulated' work? What also of the more able students? Should they be given the same work?
It certainly seems that the individuals that had this idea to place such constraints on the educational system was not him/herself an educator.
Instead, surely the time and resources of the ministry should be devoted to the following:
- ensuring a continuing supply of high calibre educators, conversant in both English and Malay, to better serve our youngsters, particularly in this time of the language shift in Math and Science teaching.
- better developing the facilities in our government schools for children with mild-moderate learning disabilities including more training for special educators.
The provision of more educational and developmental psychologists who would be able to conduct relevant assessments and aid teachers in providing strategies on how best to teach children with difficulties to the best of their ability, is also crucial.
At the moment, there are but a handful of us in the country, and access to proper assessment is difficult to say the least. Surely the above would make more sense in recognising the child as an individual thinking entity, with different levels of ability - all of whom deserve the right to be guided towards reaching their full potential.
The child's teacher would thus be best suited in making such decisions, given that they are the ones with greater knowledge of the individual child's ability. Regulating homework sounds like yet another ill-conceived plan to grow both real and bonsai trees in the same pot.