FUJAIRAH // Parents in Fujairah are calling for a reduction in the amount of homework their children are assigned by teachers, claiming that the workload is becoming a source of household stress.
A Jordanian mother-of-three children aged between eight and 15 said that the homework was a nightmare for her and she wished that “her children stayed toddlers”.
“I need to be a professional scientist in all majors in order to guide my kids through their homework assignments,” said Eman Kasab, 35.
“For example, I barely know English, but it’s required from me to teach my kids science in English, which becomes so stressful sometimes.
“It’s not only the subjects, it’s also about the amount of homework my kids have each day. I spend almost two to three hours a day helping them do their assignments, imagine the amount of stress that we go through during exams – which is approximately every month.
Ghadeer Masoud, a 29-year-old mother of two, said that her 14-year-old daughter has a tutor each day after school to help with her homework.
“I work long hours and I don’t have the time to help my daughter in completing her homework. Therefore, a teacher comes almost every day to help her in doing her homework.
“I notice the amount of stress my child goes through, especially during exams which, at the end, affects us all as a family. She used to attend music classes two years ago, but now she doesn’t have the time.
“I feel bad for her. She doesn’t have much time to play with her younger brother, and I think that she’s starting to hate school.”
The Egyptian mother added that she had contacted the school several times to inform the teachers about the amount of homework being assigned, but with no success.
“The school keeps telling me that homework helps students with their test scores. But it doesn’t make any sense if my daughter got high scores without being happy about it or even doing what she loves most,” Ms Masoud said.
A report published by the Programme for International Student Assessment said that students in UAE spend an average of six hours or more a week on homework.
The report is based on data collected from countries and regions that participate in a standardised test to measure academic achievement for 15-year-olds.
An Emirati former teacher said that she tried hard not to let homework negatively affect her children, and advised parents to ensure their children know how important homework was.
“My 12 and 16 year-old boys get bored easily. That’s why I keep trying different teaching methods when it comes to home assignments,” said Mouza Ahmad, 32.
“I used to be a teacher, so I know how things go. Children need to be concentrating in order to accomplish the assignment in a minimum timing and parents should work on that.
“Although it’s hard to make them concentrate, and that’s where the pressure and stress come from.
“Parents should give kids space to be self-reliant and always remind them that any decision they take would affect their position in the future.”