Psst...Want me to do your homework for you?
After almost a month-and a-half of summer vacations, students are ready to head back to school.
Apart from the usual baggage, they have an additional load of ‘holiday homework.’ For some, completing the assigned projects was tough while for others, it became a cakewalk. Not because they had a magic wand but simply because the projects were outsourced!
Welcome to the world of outsourcing where most students sport an attitude of - ‘If can’t make it, then I’ll purchase it and even if I can make it, why would I spend time on it? Even if I am not going out for a holiday, why take all the unnecessary trouble.’ Rene Nambiar, a 15-year old says, “I never make my models.
I can’t make them. I usually go out during with my family during holidays and after we come back, there is hardly any time left to make such elaborate charts and models which consume a lot of time. So I purchase them and anyway, how does it matter when the marks are going to be the same in both cases.”
Students like Rene are fuelling the growth of people who are willing to work on these projects - for a neat sum. The demand full-fledged markets providing customised models and charts is emerging as a source of income for many. Some do it for money while others do so for love of art.
Says Sneha Arora*, a 25-year old who started out helping her younger siblings and was spotted by parents of other kids as their life saviour! “People do it for money but I do it for love of the art. All students are not creative enough to make charts or projects at a time where schools demand high grades. Even home tutors can’t help and the parents get tense,” shares Sneha.
When cases of fake homework arise, teachers blame parents and vice-versa. For teachers, the parents must take responsibility while for parents, teachers should not give homework that is impossible to accomplish.
A teacher of Humanities in a Delhi school and a mother of two, Nalminder Grover presents both sides, “As a teacher, I never accept homework done by anybody else apart from the student and as a mother, I supervise my kids when they are working on homework but don’t do it for them. Parents who end up doing their kids’ homework rather than encouraging them to take it up on their own, seldom help the child.
“Also, some schools, create a lot of hype about holiday homework by setting up exhibitions of the projects etc. after the holidays. When students see perfect, immaculate models, they want to create the same and see their name on it. That is how they fall into the trap of local stationery shops and individuals who can make it for them. But parents need to explain to the kids that their work may not be perfect but it is their creation.”
This malaise seems to be more in public schools. In government schools, which have a higher pass percentage, the work is original because students don’t have money to spend on such activities.
Suman Pahuja, a TGT teacher in government aided Shri Hanuman Mandir Secondary School, Shakti Nagar, says, “We encourage students to read up on internet for their holiday homework.
We guide them but don’t restrict their creativity. To encourage them, we also lure them with promise of good grades. So, some do a good job, some average and others evade the effort. But none in my knowledge has outsourced it simply because they are children from lower stratas of society who don’t have money to waste.”
But can’t there be measures where homework becomes a learning process instead of a burden to be borne for two months? Some schools don’t give holiday homework.
Shri Ram School in Vasant Vihar is a case in point.
Komal Sood, Principle, Senior School says, “We hardly give our students any homework. Instead, we call them on Saturday and make them do the projects in front of us. There is a cut-off date to show a rough draft and then a final date to submit the final. In the process, some amount of learning takes place as it is entirely the students’ effort and nothing can be outsourced.”
Great idea! But can’t similar models be followed elsewhere in other schools too?