I am neither a teacher nor an expert in grade school pedagogy, but as a parent and having been through the local education system myself, I find Mr Tan Chin Hwee's argument against homework to be excessive sheltering of the child ("Go beyond book-smarts, to resilience and curiosity"; Jan 31).
Homework is not only a tool to reinforce what the child has learnt in school but it also teaches a child responsibility and time management.
Mr Tan also mentions the short recess in Singapore schools.
There is no consensus among researchers on what the optimum recess duration is. In American schools, the recess break ranges between 20 minutes and 60 minutes.
Until the optimum recess can be determined, any break duration is, at best, subjective.
Finally, Mr Tan implied that local schools lack organised outdoor activities.
However, schools here have been organising numerous excursions to places such as the Science Centre, heritage sites and nature reserves.
Overseas community involvement projects, mountain climbing expeditions and exchange programmes with foreign schools are also common features of the student experience now.
So, while there is no single tried-and-tested method to teach a child resilience, I am certain mollycoddling is a sure way to bring up a self-entitled child who expects everything to be served to him on a platter.
Lim Pia Hoo (Madam)