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How Effective is Homework When It’s Outsourced?

We’ve all been through the homework routine – we’ve grumbled at teachers who doled it out, we’ve rebelled against parents who forced us to do it, and now we’re on the other side of the fence hoping against hope that our children won’t give us the same hell about homework that we gave our parents. Simply put, homework is a thorn in the flesh, of not just students, but educators and parents as well. The latter know it must be done, yet the former is all but reluctant to do it.

Perhaps the most convincing argument against homework is this – why do we have to continue to hit the books after spending so many hours in school? The answer is that the education system has evolved into a form where school implies teaching and learning, and homework involves revising what you’ve learnt and improving your understanding of the subject. Simply put, homework is one way of testing yourself to see if you’ve understood what you’ve been taught at school and if you’re now comfortable with your level of knowledge on the subject or lesson.

So if this is the reasoning behind the need for homework, how effective is the whole process when it’s now being outsourced to places like India? Yes, you read that right – homework is now being outsourced from countries like Australia, the UK and the US to places like India. Thanks to the Internet and the complexities of the difference in currency values and the standard of living across the globe, homework outsourcing is turning out to be a boon for both the students who do it and the professionals who undertake the responsibility for a nominal fee. The latter offer their services on sites dedicated to this purpose, and the former get to choose who they would like to entrust their homework with. It’s a two-way street where the students don’t get pulled up by their teachers and the professionals earn a fast buck for work that is hardly taxing.

However, with homework becoming a business and students resorting to a form of cheating to get homework off their backs, the question that stares us in the face is this – is this contributing in any way to the learning process? Why do children have to go to school if they’re going to get someone else to do their homework? What is the point in learning if they have to pay a substitute to do it for them? And how accurate are grades based on the merit of homework that was done by someone across many seas?

The problem with outsourcing homework is that it does not help the student in any way, other than to give them a temporary reprieve. Rather, it sets the foundation for a negative trend, one which sees them trying to palm off anything challenging and difficult to those who are willing to do it for a price. Parents who encourage their wards in the practice must remember that the point of schooling is not to earn just a diploma; it is to enhance learning and provide children with a foundation on which they can build their careers and their lives. And when homework is outsourced, it weakens this foundation and leaves it suspect to a mighty fall sometime in the very near future.