A proposal to ban homework in one central Swedish town is causing a fiery debate.
Members of the city council of Hallstahammar discussed the advantages of abolishing homework in schools at a meeting Monday, the British newspaper The Independent reported.
Members of a Left Party called Vänsterpartiet contend teachers should teach all necessary lessons in the classroom, and not have to assign students extra work.
"Students shouldn’t have to take home their work and burden their parents with it," Christina Aspenryd, chairman of Hallstahammar's children and education board, told Swedish news site, The Local.
"When the students come home they should be free to do what they like," Aspenryd added.
Aspenryd pointed out that students would still have the option to do school work at home, but teachers would not assign homework. Another issue is working parents who may not have time to assist kids at home.
"We are aware that children have very different situations at home," Aspenryd explained. "Some parents are not able to help their children. It’s better that all children get help in the classroom."
Sweden has a reputation for its liberal approach to education but Education Minister Jan Björklund of the Liberal People’s Party slammed the idea, saying homework should not be an issue for town councils to determine.
“If this proposal is passed, I will take the initiative to change school laws so that cities will not be able to butt in and affect this kind of pedagogical decision,” Björklund said according to The Local, citing Swedish wire service TT News.
Aspenryd said the proposal will be explored further this fall, to determine what resources would be necessary to make changes. "We might need to make the school day a bit longer, for instance," she said.