Give students an extra day off

It is well known that our education system is stressful. Stress is bad for health, and if students are stressed, their grades deteriorate.

Hence, it may be time to consider a four-day school week.

With three days off instead of two, students would have more time to study and do their homework and projects.

They could also spend more time with their families, who can teach them values and explore their interests.

Teachers would also get a break and have more time to plan lessons.

Researchers at Georgia State University and Montana State University found that a four-day school week not only did not compromise academic performance in elementary school students, but it also had a positive impact on their maths scores.

The school day would have to be extended to compensate, but students could use the extra day off to rest and de-stress.

Of course, some students would misuse their extra day off to hang out with friends, but some are already doing so even with the current five-day week. It is a matter of mindset, discipline and parental supervision.

Spending a lot of time in school does not mean children are better prepared for the future.

A four-day week would increase the quality of students' lives.

I hope this idea can be considered, at least for secondary and junior college students, who have more projects that take up their time, compared with primary school pupils.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2017, with the headline 'Give students an extra day off'. Print Edition | Subscribe