Homework and Assignments Culture in India: How the Indian Education System is Running Backwards?

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Do you ever feel that you have so much assignments and homework to do that you might not have the time to do anything? This tedious culture of assigning assignments that not only limits the free time to do anything creative but it also promotes rot learning. What do you think about the assignment and homework culture? Should it be banned? Or are there any alternative ways to learn?
Homework and Assignments Culture in India: How the Indian Education System is Running Backwards- Delik House

“Saari Umar hum, Mara mara ke jiye liye, ek pal toh ab hume jeene do.”

It’s been 11 years since the movie ‘3 Idiots’ was released. Nothing has changed though. Suicide rates keep increasing, parents keep pressurising their children to take science, parents bear the brunt of society, IITs still dominate the mindset of the nation.

But homework is a shadow that always lurks in the life of students, only showing itself in the summer vacations. Its frost numbs us in winters and is plaguing us regularly on Sundays.

Researchers from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, U.S., looked at transcripts and data for over 18,000 tenth grade nationwide students.

Their findings show that more homework assignments don’t translate to better grades.

Co-author Robert Tai, associate professor of science education at the University’s Curry school of Education said, ‘The more time students spend on homework, it’s not clear that they are getting better grades or better test scores.’

I request all the teachers and professors to stop giving us homework. Now knowing that homework doesn’t make us better, it’s a waste of time.

When you think about it, the teachers aren’t the only victims. There’s a whole hierarchy, The Education Minister grinds the school boards, the school boards belt the regional head, the regional head strangle the Principals, the Principals shouts at the teachers and the teachers exhaust the students [the ultimate victim] by giving them tons and tons of homework.

Reference: Break out of those shackles – The Hindu

Let’s get to the root of this problem. Shall we?

Who invented Homework?

It’s widely known that Roberto Nevilis concocted homework as a kind of punishment for his lazy students. He did a magnificent job, didn’t he?

Truthfully, he didn’t invent homework, so, hold your horses.

Actually, homework existed in some form as long as education itself.

As a result, it is impossible to pinpoint that bad guy who single-handedly invented homework. It’s also hard to say when homework was invented.

You can find more information about the origins and timeline of homework here: Who Invented Homework And Why? Students Should Know Them

Indian Education system is based on ‘what to think’? Rather than ‘how to think’?

We’re so obsessed with marks that failure haunts us day and night. Creativity is only a daydream. 

Society is our master that rots the innovation of a student who dares to be different by its illogical logic.

Then it says – Aajkal ke baccho meh itna dum kahan.

Even in class when a student asks a weird question, the entire class laughs at him/her, ashamed he/she doesn’t raise his/her hand again, curbing their curiosity. The teacher doesn’t reprimand the class.

These are some termites that hollow our education system. There’re many more education myths that scavenge whole of the system.

Ironically, my quest for this answer came up in the form of an assignment in Personality Development.

They had a bunch of questions to make you think creatively and innovatively for jobs. In other words, it was a questionnaire of job interview-

After answering all the questions about myself, there came two questions based on changing the system. They were-  

What would you change about the current school environment?

Every educational institute today harps about “Creativity & Innovation”.

So, I would like to cancel the culture of Assignments and Projects. They’re given to us when we were in the kindergarten and the trend is still continuing in our undergraduate courses.

How can the government expect us to think creatively when we have been copy-pasting the same content all our lives?

The system itself is rigged.

So, from the beginning if we let them think then in the later stages of their life they will progress rapidly.

For example, in primary school we can ask them about the problems they face in school, how can it be solved according to them, give them time to think and collect the feedback without any judgement.

As they come into secondary school, they’re into their teen years we can ask them, what are the issues they’re facing as teenagers?

Be it body insecurities, periods, peer pressure, etc. and how can the school and its curriculum help them face this issue positively?

This way there will be no taboo of periods, body shaming, drug addiction or anything that we are not currently talking about but it needs some serious attention.

When they come to Class 11th and 12th, we can guide them to face the world. Not just exams. That we understand their dilemma, it is important to have good grades, but more than that is their passion and effort. That’s the only thing that matters at the end of the day.

The second question in the interview was –

If you were the Dean of college/university, what would you change?

I would keep the classes 5 days a week instead of 6. The 6th day will be the social services day. Because now the students are out in the world, they don’t just need theoretical knowledge but practical too.

We can let the students choose the causes that are closest to their heart. For me, its Animal Rescue and Women Empowerment. It will help a lot if the college is taking part because they can contact the non-profit organisations.

Which will first educate the interested students and what can they do to help the situations? This makes not only the students ready to take on the world, but gives them satisfaction that they’re helping to change the world.

These are the solutions that the 21st century students need.

Homework is outdated now. I had to think and brainstorm a lot for these two answers. But ultimately the remarks I got from my professor; I quote the verbatim:

“Vaishnavi, we don’t live in a Utopian world. The solutions you provided are impossible, to say the least. Snap out for imagination and start living in reality.”

Such is our education. Reluctant to be open-minded and hesitant to try out better alternative methods.

We can only see words like ‘Creativity and ‘Innovation’ on pamphlets of schools and colleges.

I wish the institutes could put the same amount of thoughts on teaching methodologies that they put in marketing and printing these pamphlets.

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Sarthak Roy
Sarthak Roy
3 years ago

The only job that the teachers think to accomplish is to make the students busy… Nothing more than that.

Kate LaClair
Kate LaClair
3 years ago

I don’t think by doing assignments will change something as we tend to gain knowledge by our experiences not by writing something that is vaguely unfamiliar.

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