For a couple of decades, there has been a hot debate regarding whether to extend the amount of time that students spend in school. These contentions started as early as in 1959. For instance, a survey that was carried out in the US in 1959 showed that 67% of the people were against increasing of the time that students spend in school, while 27% were in support of the motion. The remaining percentage was neutral (Levine 45). In 1984, another survey of the same type was carried out, and this round fifty percent were against it while forty four percent were in favor of the motion. There has been comparison in the performance of students in different countries that have different amount of time being spent in school by the students (Levine 62).
Mostly, when students with shorter amount of time in school are asked how they would feel if asked to spend a longer period in school, they all give the same views. They all like their summers just the way they are, and they put much effort and work equally hard with the time they have and yield results given that time period. Most of these students tend to think that addition of time would turn them into book worms which is not a good idea. This brings us to our discussion on whether to extend the amount of time that students spend in school.
In many parts of the world including Kenya, the concept of extending the year seems like a punishment and also as threat on the idea of having summer. The extension raises a scene of joyless cramming, though many may argue that the parents have failed their children by not letting them have their time extended in school (Harry 49). If we were to consider change that has taken place in some nations, we find that some have been more successful than others, and what worked for students decades ago will not necessarily work now. Among the reasons that could work against extending the amount of time that student spends in school are the following:
Readily adoptable length of time in high school can be seen to better prepare students for college. It can be observed as a perfect thing for students to finish. For instance, their college works in three years only rather than four. This opens up their chances of getting to go for internships. They also get to see the practical side life rather than being bored in class that may be too easy for the students (Rosemont 34). One is ready for college being sixteen or even seventeen years old. Therefore, extending this time only delays the time he/she takes to start yielding results in a work place.
It can be said that students having longer summer breaks will be able to plan on how to spend it. They will go for summer tuition and, within the same period, have a time to relax their minds. Most of them are after a longer summer break and a shorter amount of time in school. A number of students has also proposed that school should sometimes be a centre of fun and that learning should not be something that every one looks forward to (Rosemont 43). Adding this time could work against this in that new students will now be bored and will not look forward to the long school days.
Another reason as to why extending amount of time in school is not advisable is that while students are not in school for the summer vacation, they tend to engage themselves in more practical sides that include visiting museums and national parks. This way, they get to see the adaption of the animals in a more practical view than from a theoretical point of view.
They will also tend to spend more time in libraries where they raise all what they have read. This is because they have ample time to reflect and go throw what they did not grasp well when the teacher was introducing the materials. Others will even take practical lessons (MacDonald 87), for example, taking a course that involves vehicle mechanics. They can use the summer holidays to go and see their application in the neighbors’ garages. They, therefore, get to enjoy more and will look forward to studying.
Another reason for not extending the amount of time that a student spends in school is that children need to spend some time with their parents. Parents have to spend time with their children. This time is essential for each student since this is the time that the parent will get to know his/her child. The parent is able to know what his/her child loves. The time spent with the parent helps the child to exercise a feeling of love. This way, he/she will not go looking for affection from other parties. A study that was carried out in the U.S. showed that parents who spend more time with their children make them avoid irresponsible behavior compared to those who spend little or no time with their children. Students who never spend time with their parents are likely to get involved in drugs and alcohol consumption without their parents' knowledge. Therefore, it is not a good idea to extend the time spent in school since it deprives the children of the time they spend with their parents which is very essential to the child’s growth.
When the time is extended, students in some communities will tend to get bored, and this will lead to the increase in dropout cases. When time is not extended, the students will remain focused given that they have their minds set to a specific time in school. Increasing this time will lead to these students relaxing since they will tend to think that they have more time. This way, they will not work at all and, by the time they come to the end of their semester, they will work under a lot of pressure. This is not justifiable. This will affect their grades (Wong 46).
In most families, children are needed to help their parents in their daily operations. There are chores that need to be taken care off and handled. For example, children in rural areas are needed during the summer holidays to assist or rather give a hand in the fields. Changing the school year could be a bad idea since their parents would have to increase their spending to have the farms attended. They argue that this could have instead been done by their children but now, they have to pay for it.
We also find that there is a need to go for the summer holidays so that the students can be able to review what they covered in their class work. More school time will reduce the time that the students use to review their class work. It has been seen that there are students who need to revise what they have read so as to be in a position to get it into their minds and to stick to it. Extending the time that is spent in school will reduce the time they use to review what they have read, and this will have a very negative effect on their grades.
Increasing the amount of time spent in school could have a very bad effect on the students' overall health and well-being. It has been seen that, in a survey carried by the UN, schools in rural areas especially in less developed countries do not feed their students well. Students get low quality meals hence utilize the time they are at home to eat well.
Students will participate in recreational activities such as training in the gym during their holidays. This has a big effect on their health and their well-being. By extending the amount of time they spend in school, they end up not participating in these co-curricular activities. We also find that some schools do not have enough facilities to accommodate large numbers of students. It should be noted that, as much as they need to learn, they also need plentiful time for physical exercise as well as for creative activities. They, therefore, need some time to be away from the school in order for them to remain physically fit and healthy (Thalacker 54). We also find that school maintenance cost which includes day-to-day cash goes up to ten percent more than the usual costs if the schools are open for longer. The students that have difficulties with attendance due to different reasons including disability find it hard to cope with longer school days. This will lead to an increase in mischievousness level of the students, and it becomes a hell for their teachers. There also exist students, though of young age, who need to work in order to provide for themselves. They use this time looking for money for their tertiary education.
Another reason as to why we should be against extension of amount of time to be spent in school is the issue of budgeting and staffing. We find that, in developing countries, schools are already struggling to remunerate their teachers a competitive salary. This makes it hard to maintain the highly qualified teachers. Therefore, we can conclude that the cost of teaching will go up by extending the amount of time students spend in school.
We also find that if at all the time spent in school was extended, the activities that take place after school could be scrapped. This is detrimental to the students’ well-being. Another disadvantage of time extension is that students miss a great chance to spend time with their age mates. They will no longer have time to learn about the typical summer holidays. They will, therefore, end up having very boring childhood expenses.
From an argumentative point of view, we need to keep in mind that quantity should not always be the issue; we should aim at delivering high quality services. The quality of education in schools should be the focus. As such, we should extend time spent in school. This is one but a big puzzle since when it comes to improving the education system, there are other factors that determine this other than just the extension of time.
Teachers should aim at making every minute count. This can be done by making schedules, good learning atmosphere, and well-organized routines. This helps the students to get into the groove of independent learning. In this routine, they should aim at giving students stress free home works as this will increase efficiency.
Students need vigorous learning which includes a process of meaningful problem solving and actual thinking process. This critical thinking and training of real problem handling experiences will be essential in helping students rather than always being in class. This type of learning helps the students to have a better way of exploring ideas and handing experiences that will in turn yield a lasting network and socialization that is quite positive.
We should embrace the component of technology. By this, we mean that we can adopt a system that incorporates technology in the learning process. We aim at mixing or blending learning with both teachers and technology, thus becoming dependent on the success rate of an individual student. When we embrace technology, we end up minimizing cost (Karp 45).
The school day should not only be dependent on the time factor but also the content covered on that day. Schools should come up with programs that help students accelerate proper understanding of the coursework. It does not necessarily have to be by increasing the amount of time these students spend in school.
We can achieve a good education system by seeing that we work towards improved quality of instruction since it is an important factor aimed at student achievement. We also find that, in some countries, their day-to-day activities are built on the belief of having summer school to cater for students who are lagging behind in their studies as well as enrichment and remedial purposes (Levine 76). They make this remedial optional except for the students who fail courses. This is useful since it can be seen to be an additional period of time given to the students thus serving as an extension to time for education. This is not the case whereby the student attendance goes to less than one hundred percent. The normal curriculum will not by any chance be made longer and improved in terms of the quality without the next semester’s fall being thrown into complete disorder or confusion.
Countries will tend to make sure that they handle their activities with uniformity with other countries. Some countries will even tend to think that uniformity is of great benefit to their families as it runs from country to country as well as from community to community. Nevertheless, our main concern should be to determine if, by extending time spent in school, we change this uniformity and the effect it will have on families who have their minds set that there will be summer to spend as a family (Chaffee 56). We find that, in most countries, the response to the proposal of having the time that children spend in school extended is that the teachers should first of all come up with well-planned schedules or rather know how to use the time they claim to be insufficient before they start now worrying about extending this time (Boltz 56).
To conclude our discussion, we say that the solution to a better education system is not the extension of time but rather the planning and good utilization of the time that the schools already have throughout the year. This will drastically lead to great changes and benefits in schools.