I dreaded Fridays every week. I did understand the logic around the entire idea of giving us a lot of assignments over the weekend, but I hated it. After all, I had been given assignments every day of the week, and by the time I was done, I wouldn’t have much time to relax, try out an hobby or even read as I would have to prepare for the next day and go to bed. My weekends were supposed to be relaxing, but rather, I would be spending days trying to complete assignments.
Assignments are key and integral parts of schooling. Assignment is given to test the mental capacity of students, how much they remember from their classes and how well they can articulate themselves and solve problems on their own. All these are rather noble intentions as assignments helps develop the student, sharpens their critical thinking skills among others, however, there’s always a thin line between good intentions and going overboard with them that they end up losing their key purpose.
I personally believe there’s more to schooling than heaping students with assignments and while I don’t believe students shouldn’t be given assignments, I do believe that they should be given in moderation, and in these paragraphs that follow, I would be expanding on why I think so.
As someone who has passed through the Nigerian educational system and is still going through it, one thing for sure is that the system is highly theoretical. The system hasn’t found a fine balance between being practical and being theoretical. From my point of view, this system isn’t fully effective and it has effects. In educational systems like this one where one side trumps the other, the assignments given to the students reflects it and doesn’t do much good for the students. Subjects that are supposed to be practical are often theoretical and the assignments given to the students are a reflection of this. The children end up having a firm grasp on the theoretical than the practical. If students are given less homework, they have time to do other things they love. They get to have more time to explore their environment, experiment with all they have around them and they also get to find hobbies they love and develop them. Less homework gives them more time to learn more beyond the four walls of a classroom.
Recently, my younger sibling came home with assignments in hand complaining about how tired he was. The assignments he was given were enough to be spread across three days, but he had a few hours to do them. He didn’t like school, and this was a main reason he would say constantly. Too much assignments can become a burden for many students, placing undue stress on these students, they become uninterested with school and this does affects how much they enjoy school and their performance in school and how they even interact with other students. With less assignments, there’s less stress on the students and due to this, students would be more active and enjoy the school experience much more.
In secondary school, when I had bulk of assignments, I would sleep at late hours, many times without completing these assignments, but would have to wake up early in the morning in order to get to school on time and submit something. On getting to school, you’d see a lot of students, congregating around that one student who had completed his, while that one student is often copying another person’s assignment of another subject. Everyone would basically copy and paste their answers and that would be it. In plain terms, that negated the points of assignments. It negates the point of we getting assignments to think for ourselves and doing it so we get better in the subject. If our teachers had recognized that we got of school late daily, had to read our books, prepare for tests and do other assignments, and had given us less assignments so we could focus on them, we would have grown much better. A lot of students today do not have a full grasp on what they learn in school and often times, the assignment given that is supposed to uncover their deficiencies in certain areas do not serve their purpose, because it’s rather hard for then to solve pages and pages of assignment, not to mention the fear that they might get punishments if they do not attain at least the pass mark in an assignment.
Having less assignments means one can focus on the questions, and see places they are lacking in. Students wouldn’t feel intense pressure to copy or cheat, and would rather grow better by focusing on the few they get to do. Not to mention that it would give the teacher much more time to go through the work of their students, figure out their weak points and give them a chance to develop those weak areas. Having less assignments helps both the teacher and the student and this leads to more effectiveness which in turn would have a ripple effect in the bigger picture.
Assignments can be of great benefit in education, however these benefits can only be fully found when assignments are given to students by their teachers in moderation. Students need less assignments that are suited to the students, not more and carelessly dished out assignments.
Adebisi wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org