MANILA - A proposal to ban homework for students is impossible under the K-12 basic education program, a group of teachers said Wednesday.
K-12, which aims to produce high school graduates ready for either college or employment by expanding the 10-year basic education cycle to 12 years, attempts to "integrate a little bit of everything," said ACT National Chairperson Joselyn Martinez.
"The range of topics and competencies set by the K to 12 curriculum are impossible to cover within formal class hours, resulting to added and beyond-school hour work for both teachers and students," she said in a statement.
Under K-12, students' learning is measured by their output like skits, written materials, posters, which teachers are required to design and facilitate through their daily lesson logs (DLL), said Martinez.
"So hear us when we say that we are not issuing homework to burden our students. It is demanded of us by the K12 program, so much that our performance evaluation system ensures its implementation," she said.
Students and teachers, she added, are also required to research on lessons outside of class hours due to "still severely lacking learning materials" despite K-12's 7-year implementation.
"No amount of ‘budgeting of work’ can force students and teachers alike to accomplish more than what is realistically doable in a set period of time, hence the need to take home their school work," she said.
Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas on Monday filed a bill seeking to prohibit homework during weekends. House Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero, meanwhile, sought a no-homework policy for kinder to grade 12 students.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she backs the proposed measures because students lose time for rest and bonding with family and friends due to homework, which is sometimes completed by tutors or carers.
Briones also said she has approved a policy discouraging homework.
ACT's Martinez said it was unfair for DepEd to claim that it was discouraging assignments "because the agency’s main curriculum is the culprit behind this added work."
The group also denounced the proposed penalty of P50,000 and 1 to 2-year jail sentence to teachers who will require homework from students, saying educators are "as much a victim to the faults of K12 as students."
Teacher's Dignity Coalition also rejected the proposed ban on homework, saying it "is not intended to make life difficult for our students."
"Our teachers are trained educators, we know the value of homework. It's about discipline, responsibility and continuity of learning," the group's chairperson, Benjo Basas, said in a statement on Tuesday.