Press Conference of the Ministry of National Education on optional homework

The Educational Research Institute, commissioned by the Ministry of National Education, has prepared handbooks for teachers, students and parents to help apply the provisions of the Regulation of the Minister of National Education on the assessment, classification and promotion of students and class auditors in public schools.

A press conference was held on the new homework guidelines at Primary School No. 223 in Warsaw with the participation of Barbara Nowacka, Minister of National Education, Dr. Tomasz Gajderowicz, Deputy Director of IBE, and the directors of schools where homework has not been assigned for years: Iwona Żyła, Director of Primary School No. 223 in Warsaw, and Zuzanna Konieczna, Director of the Walerian Pańka School Complex in Turze Pole.

In accordance with the regulation, as of April of this year, written homework and practical-technical tasks are no longer being assigned in grades I–III, with the exception of written exercises to improve fine motor skills. Written and practical-technical homework will also soon become optional and will not be assessed in classes IV–VIII. Instead of a grade, the pupil are to receive feedback from the teacher on whether the work was done correctly and its quality.

During the conference, Dr. Tomasz Gajderowicz referred to scientific research and its impact on the changes that have been made to homework:

I am very happy that the discussion around homework has finally made it possible to talk about meta-analyses, scientific research and when education is effective, not only based on what we think, but also based on large studies that show what methods in education are really effective.

Dr. Tomasz Gajderowicz also noted that today's students are increasingly assisted by new technologies in preparing their homework:

If we look at the research, we can see that between 60 and 80 per cent of students use artificial intelligence tools in their daily work. In any subject, at any level of education, it is possible today to solve a task and provide these solutions to the teacher. The issue is not a question of assessing work that was not done independently. (...) We believe that the Ministry’s regulation is a step towards having students acquire effective learning strategies, understand that they need to manage their own time and take responsibility for the process of preparing for lessons. This should be valued, not that assignments from one page to the next will be completed.

IBE’s Deputy Director also highlighted that the Educational Research Institute has prepared recommendations for teachers and school directors on how homework should be done in order to be effective. In the coming months, IBE will be providing additional materials on homework, including recommendations for parents, by different school subjects.

Minister Barbara Nowacka pointed out the specific benefits of the new legislation:

Students finally are gaining the time to prepare for lessons, read books and, very importantly, develop their interests, be physically active and relax.

School directors Iwona Żyla and Zuzanna Konieczna also presented existing practices resulting from optional homework at the schools they manage. 

We invite you to take a look at the handbooks “Jak wspierać uczniów w samodzielnym uczeniu się?” [How to support the independent learning of students]

Photo: Ministry of National Education