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Teachers urge parents to let students do work

A school principal has appealed to parents not to do their children’s homework as it defeats the purpose of them "learning" while sitting out the state of emergency (S.O.E.) lockdown at home. 

The Magiagi Primary School Principal, Masae Tupou Tagaloa, told Samoa Observer that some parents are taking advantage of the stay-home arrangement and are doing the students’ work.

“We as teachers don’t want our efforts to go to waste just because parents tend to take advantage of this opportunity to [take on their children's work] which is not benefitting the kids,” she said.

“My only advice is for parents to let the children do their own work. It won’t improve their knowledge if you do the work for them.”

In the last four weeks since the start of the lockdown, some teachers say the homework they’ve received from their students did not show their usual classroom abilities, which points to parents doing the take-home work on behalf of the children. 

Masae said on Wednesday this week, teachers will distribute a third pack of homework to students. The homework follows the strands which the students would otherwise be learning in the classroom.

She added that the lockdown period is a major gap in a child’s education and it was obvious to her and other teachers that learning at home is not beneficial.

The Faleu Primary School in Manono faces a similar challenge with its 107 enrolled students.

The School’s Principal, Manu Amosa, told Samoa Observer that the feedback from their students in terms of their homework has been impressive, but she is blaming the parents for the impressive results. 

“It’s all on the parents, whether they want their children to achieve something good from their education, and if they do the work for them, it’s never going to work for their children,’ she said.

The Puleia Primary School in Savai’i faces similar challenges with the school Principal Fiu Norman revealing he had noticed a change in the students’ handwriting, making it obvious that the answers were written by their parents.

“I guess it’s in every teachers and principals’ favour for schools to go back but we cannot do anything about it as safety comes first,” he said. “But we cannot wait for schools to get back to normality.”

The school’s 150 students are being assigned work previously done as part of classroom teaching, according to Mr Norman. 

“As long as the students are occupied with their studies during this time of being away from their usual [syllabus] in their classrooms, and that they are benefitting and learning something new from their old topics, that’s what’s more important,” he added.

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