Oddly Enough

Longer school hours but no homework in German state

BERLIN (Reuters) - A state education minister in western Germany has proposed doing away with traditional homework assignments.

North Rhine-Westphalia Education Minister Sylvia Loehrmann told state parliament in Duesseldorf Wednesday there will be “no more room for homework” when her state enacts planned education reforms including lengthening the school day.

Loehrmann told state parliament that the current homework load should be integrated into class work.

“There is little necessary homework,” Loehrmann said according to a transcript of her speech. “There is homework that would be better as school work.”

Several German states are currently ushering in school reforms -- so-called “turbo A-levels” -- that will shorten study at high schools by one year but lengthen school days.

Many German schools, which traditionally have finished the day around 1 p.m., lack the facilities for longer school days, such as canteens.

Loehrmann leads the Green Party as the junior coalition partner to the Social Democrats in the state.

Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Paul Casciato