September 30, 2023

I cannot remember a time when, in all my years in school, that my teachers didn’t assign any homework. Advancing from kinder to elementary to high school to college there were always homeworks.
Even in my College of Law years where my instructors were some of the most esteemed individuals in the country like (the late) Justice Romeo Brawner, Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao, Dean Reynaldo Agranzamendez, (the late) Atty. Benjamin Fernando and so much more, they were never remiss in giving assignments and/or home-works consisting of numerous Supreme Court cases that are impossible to read overnight.
Assignments and homeworks became an integral part of learning and I and my classmates, despite the deadlines that had to be beaten and the sleepless nights to finish the task, embraced it as part of the responsibility of being students. We did not sulk in accepting the responsibility neither did we berate our instructors for shoving these up to our throats.
There were rare days when the teacher/instructor suddenly became lenient or simply forgot or were too lazy to check that they would announce at the end of the class “no homework today.” “Yehey!” we’d shout with genuine joy. It was music to our ears as is today to all students. No homework meant more time to sleep, more time to watch television and more time to talk to girlfriends about sweet nothings and the chance to fall in love. Yet, through it all, I cannot imagine life as a student without assignments nor homeworks.
Well, this is what Tutok To Win Party-list Rep. Sam S. Verzosa, Jr. seeks to achieve. He filed House Bill 8243 entitled “No homework policy in all primary and secondary schools in the Philippines.” He justifies his bill by saying that “there is very little, if any evidence, that time spent on homework in most subject areas has a positive effect on the achievement of students.” He further cautions that having too much homework causes stress and physical problems among students. Really?
Reality beckons. The Philippine system of education has deteriorated through the years. The goal of government to provide meaningful education to all Filipinos of age has not been achieved. Why? Because schools and universities and colleges have become over-tolerant to the opportunings of their students. Students have less responsibilities in school and more time on their extra-curricular activities.
Technology has robbed them of the privilege to develop their skills in creative and critical thinking. They are not adept in research. They don’t open books. Whatever they need is just one press away. Google, YouTube, Google Chrome and other social media platforms on the Internet operate as the base of their knowledge so much so that they are no longer encouraged to think and analyze on their own.
And now the bill Verzosa, Jr. What is he thinking? What is he seeking to convey to the millions of students who, if spared the creative trauma of doing assignments and homeworks, with fall into an abyss of laziness and intolerance? Doesn’t the young congressman realize that removing homeworks and assignments will only give more time for students to surf the Internet for useless and mindless information?
Aw c’mon Rep. Sam S. Verzosa, Jr., you can do better than that. Have you run out of ideas that even a proven and effective guide to rearing studious and responsible students must be tinkered with?
Homeworks and assignments are more than paper works. Doing homeworks and assignments may be boring, stressful and tedious but it teaches the students the value of hardwork and responsibility. It compels them to honor their obligations to themselves, to their teachers and to their fellow students. It teaches them the value of time which, ironically these days, is faltering to dangerous delays. It toughens them into facing tasks that are beyond their capacity to understand. It builds their character. It molds their life.