Patricia Gomes

GoiĆ¢nia, Brazil

About Patricia

I'm passionate about

World issues, human rights, environment and social causes

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Patricia Gomes
Posted about 3 years ago
Should kids have longer school days?
In response to both Zdenek Smith and Anthoni Bruni I tend to agree with most thingssaid by both of you. Anthoni, most parents desperatly need to learn what is their role in a child's education and intellectual development. Instead, most just complain about the failing grades and lack of motivation on the part of their kids. I totally agree that learning can take place anywhere and that most of it happens outside the classroom. But how to get parents who were educated in a creativity killing system realise that? The role of standard/public education is exactly that of trying to do the bare minimum kids need. I only think that this bare minimun has increased, and so should the number of hours, at least in my country. I think 6 hours of school would be ideal. Now the answer reaches Zdenek: in developing countries there are several other things to be taken into account when talking about increasing the number of hours a child spends in school. One overwhelming barrier for underpriviledged kids to overcome is actually hunger. Lets take the example of a kid who studies in the morning period here. They would arrive at school at 7:30 am, without having had breakfast at home, because there literally is none. Actually, one of the biggest motivator of going to school is the certainty of a meal at around 10:00, their midmorning snack provided by the public school. In my opinion, those first 2:30 hours of classrom were lost. Then, they have more classes from 10:30 to 12, and go home for no lunch, and an afternoon of wasted time. In places where the schools actually changed their schedule to 9 am and started providing breakfast before class, lunch, and a midafternoon snack, the productivity improved immensely. So, yes, US and Europe have a totally different reality, but when we talk about countries like Brazil increasing the number of hours kids spend in school also increases govnm. responsibility over their food safety and well-being, and that makes all the difference
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Patricia Gomes
Posted about 3 years ago
Should kids have longer school days?
Salim, I agree that longer school hours will not automatically equal more knowledge or more learning, BUT 1. Unless children are very lucky to have one stay at home parent, or a parent who works from home and can spare time for them on regular basis, spending 2 more hours at school will not detach them from family 2. Most friends kids make are actually in school... so more time in school means more connection with friends. Now, I can agree with you that more time in the models of school we have today would equal longer time killing creativity. However, as Prof Robinson proposes, if we remodel schools, more time whithin a system that values art, sports, creativity and yes, play time as well it would benefit both the kids themselves and the society they are part of. Another point I'd like to add is that in several societies (mine included, I dont know about yours), kids are no longer allowed to play outside or to hang out in groups in the streets. Here, urban violence in big cities have escalated so much, one would be crazy to allow kids to play on the sidewalk (in rough numbers, there are around 200 deaths a year in the israeli-palestinian conflict... in my city we had more homicides than that in a period of 5 months). SO kids end up confined to their homes, spending countless hours on computer or video games or in front of TV. That is not much help either. I prefer fighting for a change in the school model that would include an increase in the number of hour, coz I think that would be the most beneficial use of taxpayers money.
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Patricia Gomes
Posted about 3 years ago
Should kids have longer school days?
School systems are different everywhere. I'm from Brazil and here a child (5 to 11) spends an average of 4 hours in school, either in the morning or in the aternoon. I agree with what was mentioned above that just increasing the number of hours without increasing the actual quality of the education given means nothing. Still, I believe the number of hours could be increased, specially once most kids have to go to other kinds of school to complement their education - my daughter, for example, goes twice a week to english school (3 extra hours) and sports practice (3 extra hours). I believe the regular school should provide all that. In order to do so, more hours would be required. In terms of cost, sadly I come from a reality in which appart from paying the taxes which were supposed to provide us school for our children, I have to bear to cost of my child's education. At least in my country, it would be nice to see the government spending more money in education (and spending it more wisely as well) and kids spending more time at school, not as a prison or obligation, but actually learning things that will be useful for their future at the same time as contributing to the future of our country as a whole. As of the last 5 years or so, Brazil has witnessed unprecedented growth. For the first time people have faith that this country may actually live up to its potential. Yet, as the number of jobs increased and the companies started paying better salaries, they have also become more demanding. The general complaint around the country has shifted from "there arent enought jobs" to "there arent enough people capable of taking the jobs that have been created". The saddest part is that the requirements are not that high: most people dont get a placement because they dont have HIGHSCHOOL LEVEL READING SKILLS. So what do we do now? Stop growing? It is high time government understood that INVESTMENT in education is not SPENDING.