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April 1, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Educators to monitor kids' homework load

RETIRED headmasters and senior teachers will for the first time be hired to inspect the volume of homework at local elementary and secondary schools, the latest move by city government to ease excessive pressure on students.

Students and parents will be encouraged to report homework overloading to the experienced inspectors and the education authorities, as the city plans to set up a monitoring and punishment system to tackle the long-standing problem.

"Teachers who receive lots of complaints from parents and kids will be disciplined and may be fired if they don't improve," said Ni Minjing, a Shanghai Education Commission official in charge of elementary education.

Using the inspection results, the education authorities plan to issue a white paper as a warning to schools about the academic burden.

"Parents will know the workload that their kids will have to take at a certain school, apart from the school's proportion of students entering schools of a higher grade," Ni said. "We hope that this measure will guide parents to pay attention to their kid's interest in studies."

The commission is now working to draft standards for the appropriate workload, including the amount of homework and exam requirements for different grades.

Long hours

Previous surveys showed that most pupils need to spend late hours on assignments of different subjects, depriving them of leisure time and extracurricular activities and even harming their health.

Ninety percent of domestic elementary and secondary schools students are short on sleep, according to a survey from Open Class Magazine.

Half of high school students sleep six hours or less a day, much lower than the eight-hour standard set by the country.

Moreover, 92 percent high school students said that they only had one rest day over the weekend.

About 43 percent of secondary school students said they had to do homework for at least two hours every day and 41 percent of elementary school respondents had to work for at least one hour every day.


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