Sunday through Thursday is a school week for all students. Tuition is due immediately following school. There are also organized after-school classes. Both individual and group studies are additionally required of the students.
School breaks and then term breaks follow. Despite being a holiday, for the majority of students, it does not actually work out that way. In addition to continuing on to tuitions, many students even enroll in short courses that are offered during breaks.
This is the norm for students from preschoolers to university students in the current education system. Time for leisure is hardly found within their busy, packed calendars. To take a break from studying and to spend quality time with their families is a rarity.
After long study sessions, students are given a break to relax and recover. Experts agree that it is critical for students to make the most of their breaks.
Niuma Mohamed (Niuma Miss) who holds a Masters in Education, said that holidays are important for students' physical and mental well-being.
"To bond with family, go on a picnic to an island, or do something similar is what makes a holiday well-spent so that students can be refreshed when they commence their studies again," said Niuma.
Niuma, who has been teaching for more than 30 years, recommended that each student take advantage of their weekend by relaxing. If not, it would demotivate them from wanting to learn or cause them to get bored easily.
"For example, the child can learn to pray if they do not know how to or be open to receiving more knowledge about the religion. Students can go to the park or learn how to cook with their families."
"The child can engage in taking up a hobby or skill that they are interested in. Today, the education system is also framed in such a way that it is accessible," she elaborated.
Each child is unique and will have a different mentality from one another. Most educators believe that to ease the child’s mind from constant study, a break is essential. They would have more time to consider various facets of the world and how to incorporate what they had learned into their daily activities.
Niuma emphasised that if homework is given by the teacher at the end of the school week for every subject, that would hinder the child’s time needed to spend with family. This would also affect their mentality when resuming studies, making them easily bored.
"Family time is crucial for a child's future development. For instance, spending time with grandparents. The child will recall the tales that were told in such circumstances," Niuma said.
Some parents argue that assigning homework to their children over the weekend involves the entire family.
A parent of a special needs child stressed that even if they planned a holiday, their child’s homework worksheet would be on their mind.
"My child remembers the homework, as we do. So it makes for stressful days even if we go somewhere. My child has ADHD. It's difficult to sit still for an extended period of time, especially when studying. The teacher will post a list of the students who completed their homework in our Viber group", said the parent.
These and other factors make parents equally aware of the additional homework their child receives. Without the ability to use the weekend for enjoyable or relaxing activities, it becomes an overly hectic time. The child then enters the following week of study unrefreshed as a result.
Growing up, children need to be taught that the only important thing isn’t studies or tuition. They need to learn to be curious about life and learn the skills necessary to navigate it. For a child to have a good self-esteem, to be courageous, and to be responsible individuals, they need to learn not only from a classroom. They need to also have a good balance between school and their daily lives. For the welfare of the child, their mental and psychological needs have to be met.