Germany’s hard Left Die Linke party has called for the complete abolition of homework in schools, much to the delight of nine-year-olds across the country.
The party has outlined the change in a written proposal detailing sweeping reforms to the country’s primary and secondary schooling system. The group said the plan as likely to cost the state €100 billion.
According to a report by the German Press Agency (DPA), the document heavily criticises Germany’s current education system as cementing social inequality, arguing that students should not be expected to do homework.
The practice of grading children on their performance is also described as being oppressive and the DPA added that abolishing such systems would allow children to participate in “learning without pressure and fear”.
“Homework and grades should be abolished,” it reportedly reads, adding that all school practising and revision “has to happen during school time”.
Die Linke is also calling for the abolition of Germany’s current system of secondary schools, which involves children being streamed into academically-aimed Gymnasiums, more vocationally-focused Realschule or the lower tier Hauptschule, depending on technical capability.
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The party believes that the different types of schools should be abolished due to the system being an “accelerator for social inequality”.
Instead, a universal type of secondary school they argue should be established for children in grades 1 to 10.
One other reform advocated for by Die Linke is the abolition of control over local education by the federal states, with the party instead advocating for education to be completely controlled at the Federal level.
Of all the listed reforms, this change appears to be the most contentious. The DPA said it would require a two-thirds majority vote in the German parliament and the Bundesrat, an assembly made up of state-government delegates.
The report has not been met with glowing universal praise, with the President of the German Teachers’ Association Stefan Düll rejecting Die Linke’s calls for the abolition of grades and homework.
“The children, just like their parents, want to have the opportunity to compare themselves, on the one hand with their classmates and on the other hand, of course, with the requirements in relation to the educational qualifications they are aiming for,” he said.
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