By Kurt Bayer
Educators say Kiwi kids are better off doing exercise or learning a musical instrument out of school hours. Children are better off playing after school than doing hours of homework, educators say. The comments come after a University of Canterbury study found that Muslim students living and studying in Christchurch are stunned at how little homework they receive. The students, aged between 10 and 18 and originally from Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Somalia, are revelling in their newfound freedom, and experts back the low levels of extra-curricular work. "Kiwi kids should be out exercising, playing sport, or learning musical instruments [rather] than doing hours of pointless homework," says Waikato University professor of English Language Education Terry Locke. Last year, an Australian education expert said giving children hours of homework every week didn't do them any good. "In countries where they spend more time on homework, the achievement results are lower," said Associate Professor Richard Walker of Sydney University's education faculty. Finland, which has one of the world's most successful and admired education systems, gives zero homework to primary school children. And high school students barely get any more.