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Over a decade ago, the economist and Nobel Prize winner, Amartya Sen, formed the Partichi trust to examine the issues of primary education and health in India. Last month, he released the Partichi Education Report II, which recommended ending homework in elementary school and focusing on reading, writing, and arithmetic during school hours. The report also stressed the importance of recognizing and addressing the role of class barriers in educational under-achievement.
According to thehindu.com,
Prof. Sen said: “A somewhat counter-productive overloaded curriculum, incomplete education during school hours and necessity of homework are the reasons that there is a perceived necessity of private tuition since the parents try to supplement at home the education which could not be completed in school.”
He recommended “re-examination of the curriculum and banishing the necessity of homework at the elementary level” to overcome the situation.
Prof. Sen also emphasised the deep social impact the system has among the economically disadvantaged sections.
“It [the problem of class division] applies particularly to the first-generation school-goers, whose parents remain illiterate … the parents can neither help their children with their homework nor can they afford a private tutor. So then, instead of removing inequality through education, we perpetuate inequality between the haves and the have-nots.”