It’s been reported that President Francois Hollande has targeted homework as bestowing an unfair advantage on the rich and so he has proposed to eliminate it for pupils.

But the plan is drawing criticism from the very folks it was supposed to help – poor people.  And education experts aren’t so keen on it either, saying underprivileged children need the structure and purpose that homework provides.

Hollande reasons that homework favors wealthy families because they are more likely to have the time and ability to support and supervise their children’s after-school efforts. The unorthodox plan is part of a bigger effort aimed at making primary and secondary school more enjoyable for children and comes as the country falls behind other nations in reading and science.

Hollande said in an October speech at Paris’s Sorbonne University:

“Education is priority.  An education program is, by definition, a societal program. Work should be done at school, rather than at home.”

The article goes on to say:

“Poor people want homework because they know that school is very important, and the only chance — the only possibility — they have to give their children a better life is if their children succeed at school,” Emmanuel Davidenkoff, editor-in-chief of L’Etudiant, a magazine and website devoted to French school and education.

Duke University Professor Harris Cooper, an expert on child development, told Hollande’s plan is more likely to hurt poor kids than help them:

“Disadvantaged kids have fewer resources for learning outside school, so removing homework might actually widen the achievement gap, not narrow it.  There are much better ways to close the achievement gap.”

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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