Homework ads online 'hit 1.58m'

The Education Ministry claims it has has found 1.58 million online ads for homework help and services which it says threaten to undermine the country's educational system.

The ministry believes the ballooning industry is a result of too much difficult homework being handed to students. 

This will see more students passing off schoolwork for other people to do, damaging their education as a result. 

A search online by ministry officials discovered a total of 1,580,000 listings on websites, in blogs, on Facebook and on Instagram advertising homework services, she said.

The ministry is looking at ways to regulate these services, permanent secretary for education Suthasri Wongsamarn said yesterday.

"These services are a potential threat to the security of this country," Ms Suthasri said.

"Their activities considerably weaken young people's ability to acquire knowledge, undermining the educational system," she said. "This in turn could have a detrimental affect on the workforce and damage national security."

The ministry will forward the listings to the Information and Communication Technology Ministry to help block them.

If any advertisers are teachers, they will face disciplinary action, she said.

"Teachers are being urged to make sure students receive the right amount of homework, that it is not overly taxing for them and that it is handwritten, rather than typed," she said.

Kamol Rodklai, secretary-general of the Office of the Basic Education Commission, recently asked teachers to encourage study groups and projects instead of giving out individual homework.

"Study groups or project work should allow kids to work more as a team and exchange opinions, which is more in line with real life situations," he said.

"Homework is actually good for kids as it allows them to revise what they have learned in class and train their minds," Mr Kamol said. 

"Students should not be overburdened or handed homework that is too difficult, making them feel they have to hire others to do it for them,'' he said.

"Personally, I think students should spend only an hour a day on homework," Mr Kamol said.

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