Whatsapp Homework God Singapore

Update March 9, 2015, 2pm: The Homework Gods have replied to our homework query. Go to the end of the article for update.

A hotline in Singapore — most likely started by bored tuition teachers — has been set up to accept questions from anyone who has a problem with their homework.

Called Homework Gods, or rather, manned by Homework Gods, they are apparently able to answer any queries about pesky annoying homework questions that are causing you to rack your brains.

Here are some examples of conversations taken from their website:

This is their contact details: +65-91227983

UserID: homeworkgods

FAQ

Q: Who can speak to the Homework Gods?

Anyone who needs help with homework. As long as you need help with doing homework, creating homework or marking homework, just lift your hands and we will deliver.

Q: What subjects, curriculum and levels can you help me with?

Our angels have trained for generations to hone their skills. Each one is blessed with an all-knowing mind to help you with any subject, across all levels and curricula. This way, you can be sure that all help rendered and provided would be of the highest quality. Remember, God loves you and wants only the best for you.

Q: How quickly will I get what I want after requesting it?

God made the universe in 7 days. This won’t take that long. I promise.

Q: How much does it cost?

It will cost you nothing to talk to God.

Q: How do you charge me?

We are merciful and graceful. In most cases, it will be free. For small requests, we will do all we can to help you. If the task involves moving a mountain to a prophet, we will discuss with you how best to do it.

Q: Where is Homework Gods available?

God is everywhere, my child. Borders cannot contain us.

To test out how prompt are their replies, we decided to send Homework Gods a super difficult Mensa-level primary 5 math question, which was first spotted here:

Check it out. The Homework Gods are online:

But so far, after 40 minutes, we are still waiting for a response from Homework Gods and will update this post with the answer and explanation if it happens.

 

Update March 9, 2015, 2pm:

The Homework Gods have answered our query.

Reply: My child! The angels have brought great news! The answer is (1) 504. Explanation is that in box 1, only one number, 2 is a factor of 94. In box 2, only 4 and 9 ( 2 numbers) are factors of 144. There in box 3, all 3 numbers have to be factors and only 504 meets that requirement. Hence the answer

 

Update March 9, 2015, 3.15pm:

The Homework Gods have replied with a wink:

 

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If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates.

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Ask (online) and you shall receive... the answer to your child's homework.

Many parents are now tapping social media and mobile apps for "online tuition" to help their children. They crowdsource for mathematics and science answers on forums and Facebook groups for matters related to the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) or academic subjects.

At least five such pages have emerged in the last three years. A Facebook page for parents with children taking the PSLE this year has more than 5,400 members, while another group, the Maths Model Method-Singapore page, has more than 2,000 members.

Parents snap pictures of practice papers or school assignments, and post up to 20 questions daily on each of these groups.

Questions are usually answered within a few hours by other parents or private tutors. They illustrate the answers using diagrams, bar models, graphs or equations.

Parents said the solutions provide quick relief, but they do not allow their children to copy them without understanding the steps.

Ms Eileen Liu, 38, who has a daughter in Primary 4, said: "It's very efficient because usually I can get answers within an hour of posting questions."

The housewife added: "I will try to analyse the answers and explain to my daughter."

One group called "Homework Gods" claims to provide test papers on top of solutions, and even mark homework.

According to its website, believed to have been set up this year, anyone can send questions to a contact number through WhatsApp and WeChat, and obtain answers mostly for free. "Ask and you shall receive," it declares, saying it has "angels to receive your questions and homework prayer requests, any time of the day".

The people behind its hotline declined to be interviewed, saying they are currently "inundated with questions".

Separately, EduSnap, a mobile app which allows students and parents to obtain answers for free, has attracted 10,000 users here since April last year.

The platform lets people upload pictures of worksheets and wait for replies for three subjects: mathematics, science and English. The solutions are from teachers at 13 tuition centres and four voluntary welfare organisations.

Mr Chia Luck Yong, one of the app's three co-founders, said it receives 150 questions per day, up from fewer than 50 at the start.

"Tuition is just once or twice a week, so during the rest of the week, where else would you go for help?" he said. In December, he had to set a three-question daily limit per user. "We hope that they don't post questions unless they really need help," he said.

Parents like Mr Michael Tan, 46, said that they learn from discussions about methods used.

The church worker, whose son is in Primary 5, said he could use algebra to solve most maths sums, but schools use other methods.

The forums are also potential avenues of business for tutors.

Mr Adrian Ng, owner of Ace Maths, who shares solutions online, has received about 10 requests from parents to tutor their children. Another tutor Teo Kai Meng, has taken in more than 10 pupils from groups he posted in. But he said: "Quite a number of tutors are just helping out... It feels good to be part of an active learning and sharing community."

Mr Choy Ban Heng, a former maths school teacher pursuing a PhD in maths education who visits these online groups, said his interaction with parents online has given him insight into the challenges faced by students.

"While the maths curriculum is not getting tougher, some of the questions posed may not be suitable for most primary school pupils," he said. "Many of these difficult or challenging questions are pitched way beyond what is expected in the national examinations."

ateng@sph.com.sg

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