Millions of children turned up for the first day of school in this part of the world yesterday to find after-school assignments have been slashed back or binned entirely.
The Guangzhou Education Bureau banned homework in line with new child-focused government policies aiming to get children active, rather than stuck in after-hours tutorial classes or playing online video games. (Pic shows kids on the first day of school, Wednesday.)
One school, Xiaobei Road Primary School, banned all written homework of any kind for students in the first and second grades, and limited homework to 40 minutes in total for third and fourth grades, the China Daily reported.
But not everyone is happy. Children in Hong Kong continue to get several hours homework every night.
“China’s tutoring ban could bring millions of job losses,” said Radio Free Asia, a US government outlet based in Washington DC.
Such things are no concern for Lan Lan, a delighted junior high student, who told reporters that her school had asked children to suggest after-school activities.
After school education groups, meanwhile, are restructuring themselves quickly – turning into a variety of training service providers, helping adults and children learn art, sports, music, or vocational skills.
Nury Vittachi is editor of Fridayeveryday, a Hong Kong-based journalist and author, who gained fame through his witty comedy-news writing. He deviates from the conventional “journalistic” style and uses creativity to expand the meaning of journalism. His work does not just make you laugh, but reflect.