The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research is submitting to public consultation a new set of instructions regulating homework for the three-tier school system. Notably, it is proposed that the amount of homework shall not exceed a third of the work done in class. The instructions also forbid the use of alternative educational tools unless free access to such is guaranteed.
During vacations, in the periods after tests and exams, and on days with transdisciplinary activity no homework will be assigned. Also, homework shall not be used as punishment. This notion includes large amounts of, or very complex homework, repetitive assignments, items that have not been taught or exercised in class.
It is recommended that homework assignments have practical value, that they teach life skills, and respect preferences and interests of students. Homework should also be an occasion for students to exercise their skills and apply cognitive principles. Assignments should be oriented towards exploring pupils’ areas of interest in line with children-friendly school principles.
In primary school, it is proposed that the time spent on homework should not exceed 45-60 minutes a day or five hours a week. For the second tier, fifth and sixth graders should spend no more than an hour and a half a day, and seventh to ninth graders no more than two hours. For the third tier, caps are set at two hours and a half daily or twelve and a half hours a week.
The new rules are due to take effect as of 1 September 2018.