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Should homework be banned? Toronto students, parents weigh in

An image of a child doing their homework. (CTV News Toronto) An image of a child doing their homework. (CTV News Toronto)

The debate over how much homework students should receive has been ongoing for years and one the President of Ireland has recently weighed in on, sparking plenty of public opinion.

Michael D. Higgins, who once served as Ireland's Arts Minister, suggested in a recent interview that homework should be banned.

“I think myself, really, that the time at home, and the time in the school, is an educational experience, and it should get finished at the school, and people should be able to use their time for other creative things,” Higgins said in an interview with RTE's public affairs show for children, news2day.

The comments have triggered plenty of public opinion not only in Ireland, but also on this side of the Atlantic.

"With extracurriculars, it’s a lot - It can pile up, so maybe there should be a limit," said high school student Mya.

"Sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially around exams, but I believe it's necessary in certain subjects like Math where you need to understand it,” said high school student Nina.

But many parents who spoke with CTV News Toronto believe it's critical in helping understand how their children are progressing.

"It's good for the students to practice how to learn reading and write," said Emma Vachon, a mother of two.

"It's very little that we get. It helps everybody figure out how we're progressing and if we need help," another parent said.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) told CTV News Toronto the matter is not on the table.

Many school boards in Ontario have different policies on homework.

For the TDSB, that includes no homework for the youngest students in Kindergarten. For Grades 1 to 6, the policy states homework should reflect the unique needs of the child, and include reading and interactive activities at home. For students in Grades 7 and 8, homework should be completed within an hour, while high school students should complete their homework in two hours.

Math tutor Vanessa Vakharia says it's a conversation she often has with parents, and argues homework is critical and shouldn't be abolished.

"It gives students a chance to practice on their own and gives me, as a tutor, the chance to see what needs to be worked on further," Vakharia said. "I think it's important to remember if we give kids homework – that it's productive."

Ireland's presidential role is largely a ceremonial one, and at this point, there's no indication whether the country’s government would introduce legislation banning homework. Top Stories

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