Huge Class Size

  • Minister of education Heng Swee keat says our Ed system strives to bring out the best of each of our students. But one fundamental flaw in our school system is the huge class size. In a class size of 40 kids, the ability to truly appreciate the gifts and talents of each child is unrealistic. I just wish MOE would acknowledge honestly this gap and openly work with all stakeholders to address the challenges. All this talk abt teaching better values is trying to re-prioritize our attention away from the real core issues.


  •  Well honestly speaking with smaller class size teachers will be able to focus on individual students. However it is a fact that Singapore does not have enough teachers. A lot of people avoid being a teacher because it is really a tough job. Job scope of a teacher is very broad, besides teaching teachers will need to take a CCA and be involved in a community in school. One way of attracting more teachers prehaps is to increase the pay of teachers but honestly it may attract the wrong people into teaching as well. And there is also a group of people who feels that being a teacher is degrading and their view will be “teaching will be my last choice of profession”


  • Singapore’s student still has better result academically compared to some country with smaller class size, right?


  • Yes lack of teachers is the main problem I think, it really takes a lot of passion, dedication, patience , intellectual to be a good teacher. We just don’t have enough of them.


  •  I was told schools will selectively, pull out slower students from each class to do targeted coaching.


  • They call it remedial.  But yeah, it is a targeted approach. No kid gets left behind. The teacher can focus more on the weaker students during remedial where they number around 10 each class.


  • Basically different schools will have different approach but schools do try to pull out the weaker students to give them extra coaching. It is a fact that all of us are born unique and our learning abilities will also be different. Some students will be able to grasp concepts much faster than the rest. But maybe we should look beyond academic results as students do have talents in other areas such as sports, arts and music.


  • Teachers’ pay is quite high now actually. The numbers we don’t have. In order to reduce class size, are parents willing to take a chance of having more not very qualified or trainee teachers teaching their kids? As it is parents tend to complain if their child gets inexperienced ones. I have a feeling MOE will reduce class sizes once enough teachers can get recruited. Guess we can’t rush this. We might end up with undesirables as teachers if MOE relax too much on hiring criteria.


  • Singapore’s education system has not mature to the point like Finland where both primary and secondary teachers must have a Master’s degree to qualify but I believe we are heading towards that direction. Time is needed for changes to take place, we definitely won’t want MOE to relax the hiring criteria and getting the wrong people to educate the future generations. 😀


  • Also to recognise & nurture children’s special gift & talents, the teacher needs to have that special gifts & talents too.


  • The biggest merits of the Finnish education system is that teachers has a social status similar to medical doctor so they are able to get very good people to be teachers. Many of the teachers can do research in education also. This is something that we don’t have here. Some of our teachers only treat teaching as last resort and serve like a job with no passion. In addition, the parents play a very important part also. The parents and the system here don’t work together very well I feel.


  • It’s really not easy to be a teacher. I mean, to handle a class of 30 7&8 yr olds, one need a lot of patience. And for higher pr, it may be worse. Coz some of their work is really tough. And I’ve got teacher friends who remarked that if they were to sit for PSLE themselves, they may not be able to handle.So the teachers must really be very committed / passionate / dedicated, patient & constantly seek to upgrade their own knowledge. A lot of giving I must say.
    I’ve known of a fantastic maths teacher, she left and set up a tuition centre with another great Eng teacher. And their fees are on higher end. They make more $ now n they have more time to themselves n families. I think that’s a loss really, to the educational sector. To the majority of the kids. But what to do, it’s individuals’ choice.

    Will smaller class/group help – to me, yes, definitely; only if we have the right educators & that alone, is a very high calling.

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