Spend 8 hours at school learning a subject then getting 4 hours of homework, studying & essays to write. That's half of your day spent with school work & homework. It's too much for kids to juggle socializing, after-school-activities, schoolwork, family, sleeping and everything. It's not really shocking kids commit suicide and do shootings so often because of the unnecessary amount of pressure.
My school kicks out about half of it's six formers if they don't do well enough in mocks, lower down in school you have to do well or you won't get into six form in the first place and you'll have to get another six form college.
I am a student and I crack almost every single week under the pressure that my work leaves me. I have expectations to uphold from my parents, my teachers and myself and I can't meet these expectations when I'm too overwhelmed to do my work to the best of my ability.
99% busy work
HOWEVER... SCHOOL! STRESS! FUN FUN FUN!
The environment is a large part of it as well as the workload. Perhaps I just find school boring because I learned most of what I know from reading literature.
I come home from school at 4:30 and usually complete homework at 11:00 with 1 1/2 hours for dinner, showering, etc. That is an average of 5 hours of homework every day. Nearly 8 of school plus homework time is more than half the day. There's absolutely no time for anything else. Students have a life outside of school. The pressure just encourages cheating, cramming for tests, and a disrespect for learning, because people are so intent on grades that the purpose of school is ignored. It is true that pressure teaches us time management, but an overload of it causes stress, which leads to health problems, causing a decline in grades, creating more stress. It is a positive feedback loop.
As high schooler's, a lot of us have a job on top of 5 hours of homework. Some of us don't have a choice about having a job and its not fair that we are loaded with homework left and right when we have lives too.
The goal is to prepare students for their future. If you think you are getting too much course work in Junior High -- wait till you are in High School! And if you think High School is overloading you, then you can forget about ever going to college. The key is learning to prioritize at a young age. The sooner you embrace the idea, the easier it will be. Structure your time effectively & make the most of it. That too is a must.
I'm in high school, and honestly it's not that bad. We spend about 7 hours at school and then have maybe an hour of homework a night. On very rare occasions i've had to do homework for more than two or three hours. It's not an impossible task and my generation just likes to complain and be lazy. There's still plenty of free time after school.
School is trying to prepare us for college, and it teaches us not only the knowledge we need to survive, but also the responsibility. All the schoolwork helps us how to manage our time well, and create a good balance between studying and having fun. Yes, I am a high school student and I sometimes am overwhelmed with work, but I also feel that it's for my own good. High school life with grades and colleges is stressful, but so is life in general, not just high school. It's like saying, adults are placed under too much pressure regarding taxes and jobs, but hey, it's life.