Friday, July 13, 2018

Student to teacher ratio

This report stated that there are 455,000 students enrolled in schools and 33,000 teachers are employed. The ratio of students to teachers is 13.8.
However, I get anecdotal report that the class size is close to 40.
There is some inconsistency in the figures.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,

You know what they say about statistics.

My aunt is a retired teacher but she still works as an adjunct (locum) teacher. In the schools where she works, on any school day, there are at least 5 of such locum teachers.

Imagine officially so many MOE teachers but still need so many locum or part-time teachers who are not part of the official stats.

Reasons are many: some "teachers" don't teach but are involved with research or policy work in MOE. Many take advantage of the iron rice bowl employment to maximise maternity / paternity leave. Thus the need for many locum teachers. My aunt also said many teachers nowadays tend to take a lot of MCs too. And not uncommon to know of teachers taking 6-12 months no-pay leave. Aft the end of the day, the job is still there for them.

Teaching has become a hidden secret for those who want plenty of work-life balance. Salaries are good too, with starting salaries close to \$4k depending on type of degree.

Yes you hear about some teachers very siong life, but usually those are elite schools or those principals siao on trying to maximise promotion.

Anonymous said...

Are these 2 numbers comparable? Using a figure of 455K/33K = 13.8 to compare to a class size of 40 seems to implicitly suggest that only 1 teacher handles a class size of 13.8... But of course several teachers have to teach a class... which would push up the class size estimation using this student-teacher ratio metric. In any case, I believe the statistics do show average class sizes from Primary to JC.... reaching a high of 37.0 at P3.

Unknown said...

Actually nowadays for most pri and sec schools, the class sizes are around 20-25 pupils.

Some teachers are not form teachers i.e. they aren't in charge of a specific class.

Many teachers also teach multiple classes e.g. 2nd language, upper sec & JC subjects.

Of course, there are some teachers with bad discipline problems, MCs, frequent leave taking during school terms, unwilling to be form teachers without good reasons etc. Usually principals make the difference. A school with its principal is like a ship with its captain.