Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 10 December 2019

Homework can wait; these are the best times in children’s lives

Our readers have their say on homework reduction, celebrations at a place of worship and long-haul flights

Clementina Kongslund, with her children Valentina and Benedicte, believes schools are right to focus less time on homework. Antonie Robertson/The National
Clementina Kongslund, with her children Valentina and Benedicte, believes schools are right to focus less time on homework. Antonie Robertson/The National

Anam Rizvi’s article Dubai parents want more play time and less homework for pupils (November 15) was a good read. Today’s education system lays too much emphasis on homework and too many schools allot endless assignments to students, who barely get any time to play.

I am happy Dubai parents are opposed to more homework and want schools to give students more time to play. The concept of free time is important for any individual, even more so in children’s growing years. Schools must prioritise time for relaxation. Here in my home city, the principle of easing up on homework is slowly catching on. Children must have time for leisure and not be overburdened with assignments by their class teachers.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

World’s longest flight at 19 hours is a truly breathtaking feat

In reference to Qantas completes world’s longest non-stop flight from London to Sydney (November 15): long-haul flights make me nervous. I wouldn’t like to be in the air for any longer than 13 hours personally.

Name withheld on request

Birthday of Sikh guru celebrated across the world and in the UAE

With reference to 25 pictures of Guru Nanak celebrations in India and Pakistan: Sikh founder honoured (November 13): it was nice that even in Dubai, the gurdwara welcomed thousands of devotees and visitors during the last day of celebrations of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak. There was a whole day of programmes, including prayers and songs, in the tent outside the gurdwara from 5.30am until 10pm. It was commendable that members of the Sikh community, from India and the UK, joined the festivities. Credit is due to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in Amritsar for its support in organising the celebrations.

Surender Singh Kandhari, Dubai

India needs to fix the price of salt and sugar so that people can eat

I write to you in regard to the incisive article by Rebecca Bundhun Is India’s $1.4bn real estate fund enough to revive the stalled sector? (November 10): a survey by the national statistical office reports that consumer spending has fallen after four decades.

The report is alarming since rural demand has declined by 8.8 per cent. Demand for salt, sugar and spices has declined by 16.6 per cent. Villagers are eating less since salt and sugar are a barometer of the quantity of meals that people eat. Sugar, salt and spices do not constitute a meal by themselves. Even in urban areas, the consumption of these ingredients has declined by 14.2 per cent.

This only means people are becoming poor and are reducing their food consumption. India needs urgent steps to restore consumer confidence in the future of the economy. While elections and temples are important, we must remember that people need to eat.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

The world cannot ignore the situation unfolding in Ethiopia

With reference to Charlie Mitchell’s article Ethiopia must not collapse under the regime of Abiy Ahmed (November 6), the writer said the residence of Jawar Mohammed, the founder of the Oromo Media Network, was suddenly surrounded by police in what he denounced as an assassination attempt. In fact, he has been one of the political co-ordinators for a youth movement which has been standing together with other groups to pave the way for a change. He was welcomed by Abiy’s government to Ethiopia in 2018 but he has been controversial. Following his return to Ethiopia in 2018, he has been accused of stoking inter-ethnic and religious tensions and mob violence.

Since his return, Mr Abiy’s government has provided security guards, not only for him but for all diaspora who have returned. The October incident was an unnecessary loss of life. Mr Abiy is working hard and tirelessly for a change towards democracy, not authoritarianism. The current situation might provoke the regime to make some changes to use its power to protect the innocent.

We have seen Christian and Muslim leaders hold hands, stand together and cry for those who have been affected by Mr Jawar’s group. I hope if you can explore more and report more of this issue.

Dawit Arshak, New Zealand

Updated: November 16, 2019 07:56 PM

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