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You may know Irish President Michael D. Higgins for his cool dogs that he brings to press conferences and speeches. His Bernese mountain dogs are called Bród and Misneach, and we’re big fans of theirs.
Or you may know Higgins as the president who signed the historic bill that officially legalized abortion all over Ireland in 2018.
Now, Higgins is making headlines for a not-so-controversial new opinion. He’s suggesting that schools try to avoid giving students homework when possible. He said, “Time in school … should get finished in school,” when he visited a school last week during a broadcast for RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster. Children from the school had asked him many questions (yes, they did ask about the dogs). And when he was pressed on his views of homework, he didn’t play around.
While Higgins didn’t say that all homework should be outright banned, he’s clearly not a fan. “I think myself, really that the time at home, and the time in the school is an educational experience and it should get finished at the school and people should be able to use their time for other creative things,” Higgins explained. Before he was president, Higgins was an arts minister, so his encouragement of children’s creativity is pretty on brand.
He went on to invite the schoolchildren to stay curious and to find joy in sharing information. It seems this guy does want children to get something out of their education – just not more homework.
Higgins had more amazing life advice to share. “And I think an important thing is friendship and to make sure that there’s no one left without friendship and that people belong. And we will all do individual things ... but I think friendships that you make will in fact always be great memories and that is so important,” he said in an RTÉ news2day broadcast, addressing Ireland’s children.
“And also have the courage to stand your own ground and let other children be allowed the space of standing their ground too because none of us are the same.
“We’re all unique but at the same time we have a lot going for us.”