China asks teachers to quit assigning homework on WeChat

China has laid down guidelines in terms for use of digital channels to assign homework for students

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The education authorities in China are taking off some burden of the parents with the school-aged children. The Department of Education in the eastern province in Zhejiang posted a proposal that said that the teachers should be banned from using WeChat, QQ or other mobile apps to assign homework or ask parents to grade the students assignment.

As the mobile phone trend increases in China, the phones have become an extension of the everyday activities including the school practices. Onstead of announcing the homework in class or handing out notices to the students in person, the teachers are now dumping the assignments in to the WeChat groups designed to interact with the parents. Many teachers seem to be keen to exercise their power with the help of such digital channels and asks the parents to help the students with problems sets and also grade their homework.

The recent action has been taken after a set of national guidelines that was released by the Ministry of Education in October that directed the teachers and schools to take more responsibilities instead of shifting the load to the parents. The guidelines said, “Teachers should be accountable for their job, treat teaching seriously, correct homework with prudence and help students with care.” However not all the schools abuse the digital platforms to such an extent. A parent from Shenzhen said that her second grader who attends the local public school still does most of her homework in written form and the parent’s involvement is moderate.

The parent said, “Different schools treat technology differently and I’m not opposed to the use of it. It’s helpful, for example, to use a digital device to learn English because much of the process involves audios and videos”. The other recommendations in the national notice include limiting the amount of online homework to reduce nearsightedness which has these days has become a source of concern for the parents and the society at large.

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