Teachers dismiss scheme for homework-free weekends


Primary school teachers have dismissed as a publicity stunt the Education Ministry’s announced “Bag at School” scheme, which foresees children in Greece not being given any homework on one weekend per month so they can spend more time with their families.

The Greek Teachers Federation (DOE) said on Friday that the ministry’s rhetoric regarding the initiative, which references the need for children to have more free time, runs contrary to the government’s education policy.

“The time that is needed each day for homework to be carried out is directly linked with the curriculum and the teaching targets for each grade, as well as the learning material,” said DOE, which accused the government of not changing anything during its three years in office and continuing with the policies implemented by previous governments.

DOE gave the example of the government approving the use of a math textbook in the second grade, which, along with the book used in the fourth grade, has been criticized by teachers since 2007. The teachers added that the ministry is also overlooking the impracticality of its proposal, noting that not all schools have suitable spaces to keep schoolbags over the weekend and that some classrooms are used after primary school pupils go home on Fridays.

According to the federation, the way the decision has been issued by the ministry means that there is no legal obligation for schools to comply with the scheme.