• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

School bans homework for two years

The Local · 7 Oct 2012, 09:38

Published: 07 Oct 2012 09:38 GMT+02:00

Youngsters in grades five to nine at the Elsa-Brändström high school in North Rhine-Westphalia should have a lot more free time after the autumn holidays – as their school council have agreed to stop assigning homework.

Though pupils struggling in certain areas could still get the odd task to do, generally “no child would be having their free time dominated by doing school work” head teacher Brigitte Fontein told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday.

Instead, teaching time would be used to do more work, as the school has mostly double periods, explained Fontein.

The decision was made after a longer school day was introduced at many high schools because a year was recently cut out of Germany's high school system.

Because pupils were now being kept in school until 6pm in many cases, they should have time after this to unwind, Fontein said.

The German school system has come under fire from the Education and Science Workers' Union (GEW) recently, which said that pupils are put under far too much pressure at school.

“Children have a right to free time, to play games in the afternoon,” said Cornelia Schiemanowski, head of the GEW in Oberhausen.

Michael von Tettau, also from the Elsa-Brändström school, said that for grammar school pupils, “there is barely enough time for sport or to learn a musical instrument.” Even a 44-hour working week was just too much, he added.

Story continues below…

The new homework-free idea is to be test-run for the next two years, to see what kind of effect it has on pupils' learning. Fontein added that the majority of parents and teachers seemed to be in favour of it.

Older pupils preparing to take their high school exam would not be included in the initiative. “Without homework, taking the exams would not be possible,” Fontein explained.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:53 October 7, 2012 by pepsionice
I would say this....if a kid was definitely staying around till 4PM, he'd have more than enough time in the afternoon to do homework projects. He could leave all his books at the school and things would all work out.
22:49 October 7, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Great idea. There is more to life than climbing the ladder.
00:23 October 8, 2012 by lenny van
Sending a child to a Bavarian Gymnasium is to subject it to child abuse. Horribly mean, arrogant, prejudiced, dull, uninspired teachers. Much better to send your child is a Waldorf, international of private schools in that order.
19:45 October 9, 2012 by elder
I'm a older mother and decided to Homeschool our children. Benefits

hugh and many. Happy, creative, calm, caring children, not lonely

and angry. As a science major myself I have concentrated lessons

on math and all science subjects that are age appropriate. Music lessons

at a very good conservatory and choir for outside arts. The children

attend school for one day a week for concentrated mathematics and

language instruction and we are given 1000 US dollars equivalent for extras.

Our programs now have 25,000 families and growing wildly every year.

Unschooling is the greatest thing I ever decided for our family.

Total freedom, ergonomic, profound quality, one on one tutoring and

really dynamic.

Cost savings are also phenomenal - only 1400 dollars per year. Compare

that to the teachers union salaries of 90,000 dollars per year with 3 months

paid holidays.

I'm in Alberta Canada, and by the way the children in Alberta score within

the top 5 for all subjects on OECD PISA testing consistently.
13:39 October 12, 2012 by JesusistheWay
elder, I would love to homeschool, but don't you know it's banned in Germany. The compulsory schooling law was established in 1938 by the Nazis and it literally has not changed since then. It's so embarrassing that a leading country would go to such lengths to ban something that the rest of the world (except, um, North Korea.... and now, Sweden) doesn't care much about. I mean, the German officials are taking children and imprisoning parents. That's how crazy it is.
Today's headlines
After rampages, Merkel says again: Wir schaffen das
Photo: DPA

Speaking for the first time after a Syrian refugee blew himself up in southern Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her commitment to helping refugees on Thursday.

The Local List
Germany's five most mind-boggling conspiracy theories
What's the point of this mysterious tower at Tempelhof Airport? Photo: DPA.

Think that wacky paranoid types only exist in the USA? Here’s a few crazy German conspiracies to prove you wrong.

Munich shooting
Gunman's friend arrested for 'planning school attack'
File photo: DPA

Police found chemicals and instructions for making explosives, as well as evacuation plans of his school in the youth's possession.

Bremen mall evacuated due to escaped psychiatric patient
Police outside the mall. Photo: DPA

The man had reportedly made worrying statements relating to Isis and last week's shooting in Munich.

German ambassador to Turkey left out in cold
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

The Turkish government has been giving German ambassador Martin Erdmann the cold shoulder for weeks, after German parliamentarians passed a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Ansbach suicide bomber was interviewed by Bulgarian TV
Photo: DPA

A Syrian who blew himself up outside a German music festival at the weekend was interviewed twice by Bulgarian television while living there in 2013, footage showed on Wednesday.

No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
11,008
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd