Homework in primary schools. The project was submitted for public consultation


A draft amendment to the regulation of the Minister of Education regarding not assigning homework to students of grades I-III of primary schools and not obliging students of grades IV-VIII of primary schools to do homework has been submitted for public consultation.

The project also includes provisions according to which annual or final grades in religion and ethics will not be included in the average grade.

Failure to assign homework – assumptions of the draft amendment

This concerns a draft amendment to the Minister of Education on the assessment, classification and promotion of students and listeners in public schools. “In primary school, in grades I–III, the teacher does not assign written or practical homework to the student to be completed during free time from classes” and “in grades IV–VIII, the teacher may assign written or practical homework to the student to be completed during free time.” teaching, however, it is not obligatory for the student and no grade is determined for it” – such provisions were included in the draft submitted for consultation. According to the project, if a student of grades 4-8 completes written or practical homework, it will be checked by the teacher who will provide him with information about what he is doing well, what and how requires improvement, and how he should continue learning. “Changes in this area result from the need to regulate the issue of homework assigned to students of primary schools for children and adolescents. The proposed changes regarding – which should be emphasized – selected types of homework (written and practical work), in relation to primary school, are related to the observed for many years, the practice of giving students an excessive number of tasks to complete during their free time from teaching classes,” we read in the justification for the project. It was pointed out that “signals and arguments criticizing this practice, especially in relation to the education of younger children, appeared not only in public discussion, but are also clearly reflected and confirmed in the correspondence of parents and students addressed to the Ministry of National Education.” It was reported that this state of affairs is also confirmed by the results of the International Progress in Reading Literacy Study – PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) conducted in 2021, in which fourth-grade students of primary schools participated.

Educational inequalities among students

The justification also states that the effectiveness of homework depends on its quality, not quantity. “Excessive homework can lead to student fatigue, decreased interest in learning, and even increased educational inequalities due to varying resources available at home and student support from parents,” they wrote. It was emphasized that “the proposed change does not mean abolition of the obligation to learn at home, i.e. learning to read for the youngest students, reading books, learning specific content, vocabulary, etc.” “This change is only intended to limit the assignment of written and practical homework. The place where students, especially younger ones, should acquire knowledge and skills is primarily school,” it was noted. At the same time, it was reported that w MEN Work is underway to limit the scope of the general education core curriculum so as to make it easier for teachers to implement all the material intended for a given educational stage.

Resignation from including grades in religion and ethics in the average

The draft regulation also includes provisions to waive the inclusion of annual or final classification grades in religion and ethics classes in the average grade. In the justification for the project, it was recalled that these classes are not compulsory: a student can attend religion classes, he or she can attend ethics classes, he or she can take both religion and ethics classes, or not attend any of these classes. “Due to the fact that religion and ethics classes are not classes that the student is obliged to attend, it is unjustified for the annual or final classification grade for these classes to affect the average grade obtained,” we read. The proposed regulation is to enter into force on September 1, 2024, with the exception of the provisions regarding housework, which are to enter into force after 14 days from the date of publication of the amendment in the Journal of Laws.

Read also: The head of the Polish giant criticizes the announced change in schools

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