The municipality of Bekasi in Indonesia is attempting a rather radical innovation in education by ordering all students within its jurisdiction to study and do their homework or face legal consequences. Education head Kodrato said the new regulations also contain provisions insisting parents devote more time to supervision of the activities of their children. The new regulations require students, from elementary school to high school, to study between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. either at home alone or with classmates from the same neighborhood. During study time, no TV or video game will be alowed and students will be banned from going to the mall or entertainment centers.
Kodrato said his adminsitration would empower neighborhood heads and police personnel to enforce the regulations. Bekasi was inspired to institute the new policy after hearing it has been in operation in the municipality of Yogyakanta since 2003.
As one who has been engaged in education for fifty years, the one thing I have learned is never underestimate the ingenuity of children to circumvent adult desires and orders. Actually, the idea of having children study with neighbors makes sense, Perhaps, a modified form of this approach might prove successful, but the idea of forced homework, will inevitably result in failure. You can force a student to the book, but you can’t make him drink the water of knowledge.