In many of the 780 government elementary schools in the district, teachers are forced to handle more than 90 students in a class, while the student-teacher ratio should be 30:1 from Class 1 to V and 35:1 from Class VI to VIII. While the government elementary school at Malumachampatti has 120 students in Class IV alone, it has only a teacher to handle them. Since only 20 students could be allowed in each class now, students are coming to the school only once a week.
Another source said the student-teacher ratio couldn’t be maintained in some schools as they had seen an unprecedented increase in the number of students. “Many parents have enrolled their children in government schools by pulling them out of private schools, as they could not afford high fees because of the pandemic situation.”
In overcrowded classrooms, less attention can be given to individual learners and it is difficult to motivate them. Overcrowded classrooms tend to be teacher-centred: teachers react and learning is passive, with the result that learners may lose motivation. The study argues that teachers experienced numerous challenges during teaching and learning as a result of a large number of learners in the classrooms. These challenges include failure to stimulate learners’ interest, and failure to instil critical thinking and problem-solving activities in learners.
How does the student-teacher ratio affect learning?
The student-teacher ratio reflects the teacher’s workload and how available they are to offer services and care to their students. Many students and teachers find that the lower the number, the better the educational process and learning will be. It has been proven that students learn faster and perform better in smaller classes. A class size of fewer than 20 students often results in more individual attention, increased participation, and better communication between the instructor and students.
Speaking to N Geetha, district chief education officer, said she had issued necessary instructions to the block education officers to redeploy teachers on deputation to schools based on the requirement. “Only willing teachers will be deployed on deputation. I have asked officials not to depute teachers in schools that are far away from their place of residence. It is a temporary measure to ensure academic activity in schools is not affected until transfer counselling is conducted.”
The Education Department should notice this student-teacher ratio issue and find a better solution to improve the level of education.
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