The topic of education brings up many contrasting opinions relating to topics like workload, curriculum, and time spent learning. Education has drastically changed over the past few decades, so current students’ views are very different than those of previous generations. The education system has become more of a problem due to the increasing workload and students are spending too much time learning seemingly useless information. Although there are so many layers to this topic to dissect, a key component of the issue is the length of school days, and more specifically why they are too long.
Long school days cause a vicious ongoing cycle for students that goes something like this: You attend school most of the day, receive a lot of work, and stay up late to finish. You’re tired the next day at school with little concentration. You do extra work that night because you were tired in class and it was hard to focus, and the cycle continues. This is not all life should be, especially when teenagers are expected and want to be involved in other activities like playing sports and socializing with peers.
Adding on to the issue of not being able to concentrate, students cannot fully grasp concepts or learn properly if they are tired, uncomfortable, or bored! This is especially a problem at our school with the 80 minute periods, many classes just sitting and being lectured by the teacher. Students are bound to get distracted and are forced to go home and do extra review. The school day is also incredibly draining. School starts quite early, and that on top of cramming into our heads for nearly six hours can cause sleepiness in the late afternoon.
The current school day at Ridgewood High School is exactly six hours and five minutes long, with lunch occupying forty minutes. If students take thirty minutes to commute back and forth to school, an hour and a half to get ready for school and bed, an hour to eat breakfast and dinner, three hours for a sport or activity, it leaves us with twelve hours. Subtract the recommended amount of sleep which is nine hours, and that leaves a whopping three hours of time left for homework that usually takes longer than the time allotted. If school were to be shorter, we could have more time to both work and enjoy other activities, undoubtedly resulting in better mental states.
I believe that serious adjustments must be made to the Education System in this country, and shortening the length of school days is one of them.
Graphic: Jiah Lee