Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

No more homework for Bahrain's pupils from 2019

The new curriculum omits homework from courses, following the example of similar methods used in Finland

Dr Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education of Bahrain. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National 
Dr Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education of Bahrain. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National 

Bahrain’s schools will no longer assign homework to pupils beginning from next year, the country's Ministry of Education said on Tuesday.

Education Minister Dr Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi said that a new curriculum will be drafted to take into consideration that all work must be completed in school before pupils return home.

The new system allots time at the end of each class for pupils to complete exercises or participate in a knowledge review. The ministry says the system will help ensure pupils retain the information taught in classes.

A similar curriculum has been in place in schools in Finland. After a year of implementing the "no homework" rule, Finnish pupils were seen placing higher on Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's global rankings, widening the gap between them and students in schooling systems with heavy workloads – such as those of the US or the UK.

A Stanford study in 2014 showed that too much homework can negatively affect pupils. The study found that more than half of the pupils in the study said that homework is the primary source of stress, led to sleep deprivation and caused other health problems.

It also showed that homework impeded on pupils' ability to engage in a well-rounded upbringing, saying that the workload could reduce their time spent with friends, family or pursuing extra-curricular pursuits.

Some private schools in Dubai have started implementing the no homework rule. Traditional methods of education have increasingly come under scrutiny as some of the world’s most progressive educators challenge its effectiveness.

The new rule does not apply to private schools in Bahrain because they are already allowed to teach curriculums approved by the ministry, which could include no homework for pupils.

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