Children who WORK more than 12 hours a day between classes and homework

According to Mar Romera, president of the Francesco Tonucci Pedagogical Association and an expert in psychopedagogy and emotional intelligence, it is impossible that great agreements and pacts for education will ever be reached if we are not aware that in these changes children must be the true protagonists. Adults tend to think of children also as future adults , which causes them to not be taken into account in their present time when it comes to big decisions.

How would the children want to do or see things? It is not that they end up organizing the aspects that govern their daily life, but that their way of seeing and understanding the world is taken into account when doing so. And a great example that this does not happen like that is the strenuous hours that children have in their school day, of more than 10 and 12 hours a day of continuous work .


horas cole niños


Many schools open their doors before 8 in the morning and close at 8 in the afternoon or beyond. The working hours of adults and the increasingly active involvement of women in the labor market have caused school hours to triple with respect to past times, and this is something that is not clearly done thinking about children or in your good.

It is evident that family conciliation is necessary, but the measures that have been implemented so far are not aimed at improving the lives of all, including the youngest, but rather at combining the marathon days of the parents’ offices with school start and end times , even if this means adding a huge number of classes and extracurricular activities to a child’s daily schedule.



Children have longer hours than many adults

This type of family conciliation that is sold to us leads children to experience working days of around 12 hours a day , something that is considered abusive even for adults. Do we think of them then when we talk about education and improvements around it?

We could say that young children, even if they have to spend so much time in schools, spend most of their time playing, which does not require effort for them. However, and as Mar Romera also reminds us, this game is not usually a free game, but is almost always directed, planned, with certain rules to follow … etc. Children need freedom, to be able to play in their free hours in a park with their friends and socialize, or even to remain calm and relaxed at home with their parents, without the need for more. Children need to disconnect as adults need, and such a long day in the same room can never offer those needs for relaxation and freedom.


niños libertad


Children have an extraordinary ability to adapt to almost any circumstance that comes their way without major problems, but our time, with all its advances and modernity, seems to increasingly distance children from the simplest and most essential things in life , like being able to explore, discover and imagine things . Computer science or robotics are encouraged more than group games, climbing, contact with animals or hiking. The ability to experience, fall and learn to get up and start over is increasingly restricted. The educational system is designed thinking more about the future that these children will have as adults than about their present growth needs … and not only they pay the consequences, but society as a whole.

Anyone who has to be tied to the same place for so long will be willing to escape, and will not work with enough motivation to enjoy the work done or to get something positive out of it. So do we hope that children do learn with pleasure and willingness, tired to the point of exhaustion? Undoubtedly, much remains to be done around a true family conciliation, with a reduction in working hours or greater parental leave, but there is also a long way to go until a fair educational panorama is reached and focused on a real childhood.

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