Parents, teachers and guardians in the South-West geopolitical zone have expressed divergent views on the notion that take home assignments being given to children amounted to transferring of teachers’ responsibilities.
They spoke in separate interviews on Monday with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Osogbo, Akure and Ilorin.
While some of the parents said that such workload of assignments were suggestive of transferring teachers’ responsibilities to the parents, others said it would enable the pupils and students to be serious with their academic works at home.
Also, some of the teachers interviewed said that the take home assignments would make the students and pupils to have better understanding of the class works.
They said that such assignments were not, in the first instance, meant to be attended to by parents, but to ensure that the assignments were promptly attended to by their children.
In her views, Mrs Olawumi Omonijo, the Headmaster-General in Ekiti, said that the assignments being given pupils to solve at home were meant to keep them busy with their studies and to be ahead of their tutorials.
Omonijo said such assignments from the teachers were not in any way suggestive of transferring the responsibilities of the teachers to parents, adding that parents were not meant to solve such assignments for their wards.
She said the tradition of giving assignments to pupils to solve at home had been on from time immemorial, adding that the ploy was part of the extra curricular activities to keep the pupils busy at home.
According to her, the major responsibility of the parents is just to ensure they attach the desired importance to solving such assignments by only reminding their wards of such pending homeworks and not to help them solve the assignments.
“It is not out of place for parents to supervise their pupils in solving such assignments and make sure they attend to them promptly, so that they can submit to their teachers at the appropriate time.
“I think parents too should understand that they are not doing their children any good by help them to work out their home assignments,” Omonijo said.
Commenting, Mrs Bose Aduloju of the Guardian and Counsel Unit, Ekiti Ministry of Education, said parents were not expected to help their pupils to solve home assignments given to them by their teachers.
Aduloju said parents, apart from making sure such assignments were done, could also check the assignments after being attended to by their children and at the same, check back to know the scores as well as teacher’s comment on such assignments.
This, she said, would give the opportunity to parents to know more about the performances of their children in relation to their studies.
In his remarks, Mr Samson Oyelere, the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Ogun, dismissed the claims that teachers were shifting their responsibilities to parents through take-home assignments.
Oyelere said home works were part of the teaching plans, adding, “it enables students to use their time wisely and encourage them to work independently of their teachers.”
According to him, parental involvement is an essential ingredient in a learning process, which enables parents to know the capabilities of their children.
“For teachers, it is a way of evaluating teaching and learning outcomes.
“It is also a way of introducing new topic through pre-learning, so that by the time the students resume in the classrooms, such topic will not be new to them.
“Also, it is a way of engaging students outside the school system so that learning can continue, even when they are not in class.
“I urge parents not to misconstrue our intention, which is actually to assist them to know what is being taught or about to be taught and to monitor the progress of their children,” he said.
In his contributions, Mr Akeem Lasisi, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) in Ogun, said that teachers were builders of the nation and expected to mould or nurture the younger ones through various means to become great in future.
Lasisi said, “It is not compulsory or mandatory that parents must be on ground, while students do their homeworks, but they could assist in reminding or ensuring that they attended to the homeworks.
“When assignments are given to students, they are to go back home, sit down and do it on their own.
“Assignments means a task or piece of work allocated to someone as part of a job or course of study. It simply means its part of the scheme that students must go through,” he said.
Lasisi said teachers were not trained to be transferring responsibilities to parents, adding that any teacher who engaged in such act would be disciplined.
Also, Mrs Adefunke Abegunde, a primary school teacher, said teachers also have their own ways of checking parents engaging in helping their children to solve their home works.
“It’s part of our training; assignments given to pupils to solve at home are meant to keep them ahead of their studies and to be done by them, not their parents.
“It’s not in any way connected to transferring teachers’ responsibilities to the parents.
“Parents are only expected to keep the pupils on their toes by making sure such home works are attended to and submitted to the teachers,” she said.
An Educationist, Mr Wale Iborida, said teachers and parents play vital role in holistic development of the child, adding, “parents are the first mentor of the child while the teacher is the second.”
This, he said, therefore make both to have very important duty and responsibility in shaping the child’s personality.
Iborida said parents play important role in encouraging and motivating their kids to learn, adding that good parental support, helps a child to be positive, healthy, good life and become long learner.
He said children were bound to acquire skills at the very early stage of their lives, if parents were responsive and cooperative.
According to him, in making things work out positively for the child, there must be mutual trust and understanding between parents and teachers, “which is a real secret of child’s learning”.
Iborida said the positive effects of homework is, “it forces decision making ability and help them to know when compromise is to be made”.
“Homework creates a line connection among the pupils, teachers, schools and parents. It allows everyone to getting to know each other better, while parents can see where their children are weak and where they are excelling.”
A parent, Mrs Adebimpe Anjorin, said it was true that some teachers were beginning to transfer their responsibilities to the parents.
Anjorin said that some teachers would give five assignments to her child, and expect her to submit the next day, after closing at about 4.00 p.m.
She advised teachers to reduce the number of assignments and teach the pupils more in the classroom.
Another parent, Mr Sunday Ajibola, said that he always helped his son to write his assignments because of the volume.
Ajibola appealed to teachers to allow the pupils to have resting period after school hours, so as to enable their brain to calm down.
“I understand that perhaps in a bid to finish the syllabus in due time, teachers always give too much assignments to the pupils.
“The teachers are good, but they need to give pupils and students, some time to rest after the normal school hours,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Shina Adebayo, a father of three in Osogbo, said the trend of solving school assignments for his children was becoming a nagging norm.
According to Adebayo, I see it as a deliberate effort of pushing teachers’ responsibilities to the parents.
“It is somehow annoying that after returning home from work, I will still have to start another work of solving assignments for my children.
“I don’t know the essence of paying school fees to educate our children, because the works expected to be performed by the teachers are being transferred back to the parents.
“What if the parents are not well educated or do not have any knowledge of the assignments? That means such child might eventually score zero,” he said.
Another parent, Mrs Foluke Dada, who is also an Educationist, said the trend was only peculiar to the private schools.
Dada said in some of the given assignments, there were instructions in the students/pupils’ textbooks that teachers should assist them in solving, but these were the assignments teachers pushed to the parents to solve.
According to her, because most privates schools don’t employ qualified and certified teachers, the teachers usually have difficulties in solving the assignments and in turn push them back to the parents.
Also, Mrs Temidayo Samuel, a Proprietor of a private school, said that homework assignments was to get the parents involved in the school works of their children so as to mentor, monitor and guild them.
“Teachers asking parents to assist their children in doing their homework assignments is not an attempt to push teachers’ job to the parents, but for the parents to be part of the children’s learning.
“Parents are just to guide and see the improvement in their children through the assignments given.
“Some parents are not learned truly, but the little contributions in their children’s assignments will boost the morale of their children.
“The assignment that involve critical thinking will even help parents to have the knowledge of what they might have forgot,” she said.
In his views, the Principal, Ooni Girls High School, Ile-Ife, Mrs Mojereola Odewole, said that assignment given to students would allow them to have better understanding of the classwork.
Odewole said the notion that teachers were transferring their responsibilities to parents by given assignments to their wards was not correct.
She said the essence of given assignments to students was to keep them occupy after school hours.
Contributing, Mrs Deborah Fakorede, Founder of the Bright Track Nursery and Primary School, Oba-Ile, Akure in Ondo State, decried the insinuations that teachers were transferring their works to parents by giving loads of homeworks to pupils and students.
Fakorede said that any given homework was meant to be done by the pupil or student under the supervision of their parents or guardians.
“Teachers are not transferring their responsibilities to parents. Learning is two ways. Teachers have their roles to play, while parents too, have a little role to play.
“When pupils are taught in schools, they need to practice at home what they have been taught in the schools.
“Assignments mainly are based on what pupils have been taught by their teachers.
“All parents need to do is just to guide their children and ensure they are doing it right and not just be left alone.
“So, homework is meant for pupils to do, not for parents. If a pupil cannot do his homework by himself, parents should inform his teacher or his school.
“Such teacher will know that such a child does not understand the assignment given to him or her. Parents should not do it for him, but the assignment should be sent back to his school.
“Checking your child’s home work and guiding your child is important, because you will know how your child as well as his school are performing,” she said.
Similarly, Mrs Abiola Akinseye, the Proprietress, Hapa College, Oba-Ile, Akure, said that parents were not expected to do the take home assignments for their children.
Akinseye said that teachers would not give homework that had not been explained partially or talked about in school.
She said that giving assignment requires students to study their school notes and textbook before doing it.
“Assignment is just meant for students to try their best and bring back to school for teachers to check through.
“It is when they cannot understand or do it that their parents or guardians can guide them and not that parents should do it for them,” she said.
Also, Damilola Busari, a mother of two, said that raising children was a joint venture, whilst parents have greater responsibilities, the school also contributes significantly.
“When it comes to education, the school is at the forefront of academic activities and education, parents’ involvement is essential for a robust education to take place.
“They have to help reinforce what children learnt in school, hence the need for the assignments.
“But, sometimes school takes assignments giving too far by demanding a lot from the parents and at times the school doesn’t carry parents along as it should be.
“Schools can strike a balance by ensuring that 80 or 90 per cent or education is done by them, leaving 20 per cent for the parents,” Busari said.
Another teacher, Mrs Bola Okunade, said that parents were key players in their children’s education, hence the school inculcated them into their wards’ training through assignments most times.
Okunade said, “the commitments shown by parents are impetus that drive children to be committed to their studies.
“This is not to say that teachers shelved their responsibilities to parents, no; but, it is for the greater good of their wards.”
Mrs Helen Nwachukwu, another parent said if schools were not given children assignments, many parents would not bother about their wards’ education improvement or otherwise.
“It is not that the parents should be loaded with assignments week in, week out, as being done by some schools.
“But that there is an avenue for parents to interact with their children’s education, is key to a wholesome children upbringing.
According to Mrs Bolanle Osikoya, teachers are not transferring their responsibilities to parents concerning the assignment.
“Student takes assignment home to keep them busy. It will enable parents to have an idea of what they have been taught in schools.”