19 students per class. Is this true?

Singapore Democrats

A resident emailed us this page which has ‘PAP Manifesto 2011’ printed at the bottom. The headline page reads “Good primary schools in every neighbourhood”.

The text says: “We will have one teacher for every 16 pupils by 2015, compared to 19 pupils in 2010 and 26 in 2000.” This must be news to every parent and teacher because every one will tell you that in class size in 2011 is still around 40 students.

So how did the PAP make this bizarre claim?

The only possible reason is that it is taking the number of students in Singapore and dividing it by the total number of teachers the Ministry of Education employs. This includes trained teachers who are working as administrative staff and not in the classroom teaching students.

The problem with this approach is that administrative staff do not teach and no matter how many of them are employed it is not going to reduce the number of students in the classroom. The quality of teaching is thus not going to improve.

If this is the case, this PAP Manifesto 2011 has a lot of explaining to do. It does not say what the class size is. So as to be perfectly clear to voters, it should have stated that the number of students per class that a teacher instructs is 19 in 2010 and 26 in 2000.

The SDP’s manifesto has clearly stated that we want to see the number of students in each class be reduced to 20 from the current 40 to improve the quality of teaching.

We seek a clarification from the PAP as to how it arrived at its figures and we invite it to tell the people exactly how many students there are per class that a teacher has to teach currently.

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