SAVE THE STUDENTS' HEALTH: Less homework on weekdays, no homework on weekends.
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Finland is known to rank at the top list “for the international rankings for education systems" worldwide. How? One is by giving less, or sometimes, no homework at all to students. Compared to other countries, Finnish students rarely do homework since teachers make it a point that their students are given minimal load of homework for they believe that students need time too for their other activities outside school. Giving students difficult and too many school works to be done at home only causes stress among students. Similarly, this petition aims to promote “A Less Homework on Weekdays and No Homework on Weekends” policy here in the Philippines to promote a healthier and a more effective educational system, to reduce the stress-levels Filipino students feel, and to help students improve on their academic performance. In line with the Filipino culture, Filipinos would be able to value “family time” more with this request, hence promoting and giving more value to the Filipino identity.
Students from across the world experience emotional, physical, and mental problems due to school stress. Well, a little stress is a good thing. It can motivate students to be productive and to perform well in their academics; however, when the body fails to recover from it, it can backfire. In 2013, a research conducted at the Stanford University found that students in high-achieving communities, who spend too much time on homework, experience more stress, physical health problems, alienation from society, and a lack of balance in their lives. Additionally, As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported in 2007 "colleges are seeing a generation of students who appear to be manifesting increased signs of depression, anxiety, perfectionism and stress." These studies suggest that chronically stressed children or students are at risk of cognitive damage since their brains are not yet fully developed.
Stress does not only affect the nervous system. In fact, it can also damage some of the body systems including the muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems. One factor of this is sleep deprivation, which can severely affect some body systems. Staying late up night just to finish school works is not always equivalent to high grades in school since according to Hershner and Chervin (2014), insufficient sleep can result to “lower grade point averages, increased risk of academic failure, compromised learning, impaired mood, and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.” Since students sacrifice their sleep in order to keep up with the demands of school, their brains only have limited time to rest, therefore interrupting the formation of pathways that will be used for the next day. Consequently, with chronic sleep deprivation, students can experience mood swings, hallucinations, and even depression.
Those students who exhibit less concentration, forgetfulness, and difficulty in absorbing class lessons are actually showing signs of sleepiness and sluggishness. When these have gotten out of hand, it can lead to severe health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart diseases, thus affecting the cardiovascular system. It could also adversely affect the digestive system due to excessive weight gain or weight loss, which may be observed from students with inadequate sleep and chronic stress. When stressed, the muscles tense up—as a mechanism to prevent injuries. However, when it lasts for too long, pain is already felt such as aching in the head, neck, or shoulders, and this is how stress affects the muscular system. Furthermore, a person who is stressed may find it difficult to breathe for this is what stress does to the respiratory system. Worse, a student may experience hyperventilation—rapid breathing—especially when faced with a situation in school wherein he/she finds himself/herself having a hard time to cope up with school requirements and activities.
Hershner, S. D., & Chervin, R. D. (2014). Causes and consequences of sleepiness among college students. Nature and Science of Sleep, 6, 73–84. http://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S62907
Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3008679/Yes-homework-really-bad-children-Results-begin-drop-takes-longer-90-minutes-hour-perfect-time.html http://news.stanford.edu/2014/03/10/too-much-homework-031014/
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx
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