This weekend starts the duty strike called by the Spanish Confederation of Associations of Parents of Students (CEAPA). During the weekends of November, public centers are urged not to assign duties and to parents who, if you have them, your children leave homework without doing. They claim the lack of free time that children have due to excessive homework and, instead, propose that they do other activities such as visiting a museum or playing family sports.
It is the first time that such an initiative is planned in Spain and the scope it will have is unknown, but for now what we know is that opinions are divided, both among teachers and between parents themselves. There are those who find it necessary to call attention to excessive duties so that things begin to change, and on the other, those who do not support the strike because it is considered an insumission or that is not the most adequate way to protest, which side are you on?
The data show that Spain is one of the countries with more burden of duties for school-age children. The 2012 PISA report reflects that Spanish children they dedicate 6.5 hours a week to homework, which places our country as the fifth in the OECD where children spend more time on the duties only exceeded by Russia, Italy, Ireland and Poland. Even WHO has warned about it and there are advertising campaigns such as "Let's save dinner" from Ikea, which aims to recover stolen family time because of homework.
Excessive duties affect children's health (Problems such as headache, abdominal pain, back pain and dizziness are more frequent), and the pressure they feel on homework also involves psychological symptoms, such as feeling sad, tense or nervous. In the same way, the time they dedicate to them is subtracted from leisure time and family relationships, affecting their development.
The educasindeberes.org platform defends arguments that in Babies and more we have been sustaining for a long time. That the duties, as we know them, are a method of erroneous learning, that overload the students and generate situations of inequality, to mention some of the nine good reasons why children should not have duties.
It is shown that excessive duties are not the way to a better education, Rather the complete opposite, the effort that children make does not correspond to the academic results. International tests show that Spain, despite the fact that schooling is earlier than in other countries and there are more school hours, has bad grades in the Pisa report. We were in a general position far below, the 29 of 44 countries, according to 2014 data. Finland occupies the podium, together with South Korea, both countries with almost non-existent duties.
Something has to change
The strike, promoted by CEAPA in the framework of the campaign 'A school is missing a subject: My free time', it will be held on the weekends of the month of November. Parents are encouraged not to do their homework outside school hours and are provided with material to justify it in front of the center (a letter addressed to the center, another to the tutor and another to the teacher), based "on constitutional law that families have to make the decisions they deem appropriate in the family environment, which is private, and the school cannot invade it. "
Obviously something has to change. Most parents agree that homework should be rethought in some way. According to a Metroscopy survey, 61% believe that too much homework is sent to students.
Nothing similar had been done so far and it is time to take action. Is a proactive way to get attention and make us reflect about the convenience or not of school duties, a way to open the debate, a first step to start moving forward with change.
However, there are those who defend the duties "proportionally". The National Catholic Confederation of Parents and Parents of Students (Concapa), which represents about three million families in the private concerted school, believes that "homework is necessary because they generate a habit and strengthen what they have learned in class."
How will teachers take it?
One of the parents' concerns when considering secondary strike or not is that it's your children who will go to class on Monday without homework done. Although joining the strike, CEAPA provides families with a letter to deliver, they fear that this may somehow harm their children, that they don't know who to pay attention to. If the teacher, who sends homework or parents who tell them not to do it. In any case, I believe that children's opinions should be taken into account in this regard.
The National Association of State Teachers (ANPE) has categorically criticized the initiative: "it expresses its rejection of these proposals that incite insumission and boycott undermining the activity of teachers and their professional and academic authority."
Is the form a strike?
On the other hand, there is the position of those who believe that something should change, but that do not support the way to protest against extracurricular tasks.
We have probed the opinions through our Twitter and we have rescued the opinion of Mama (c) current that seems very representative of what many parents can think:
If the strike were to be seconded by all the parents of a class, then great. But that would never be so, in our school for example nobody would dare to have a problem with the address.
So causing a problem to the child does not fall within our plans. It is sad, maybe in life you have to be brave, but I do not think it is appropriate for a 6 or 7 year old child to be marked as having a "wayward" parents. There would be reprisals, I have no doubt. And I don't want that for my children.
Personally I think that the issue of homework should be regulated by the Community of Madrid, as well as the theme of the schedule, another great workhorse that we have in this school. When it is officially regulated we will stop having problems of "meaning" and then retaliation.
You on which side are you: are you going to support the strike or not, why?