MANILA -- An official of the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Monday that class size reduction is key to improve the learning environment of students, especially in highly urbanized areas.
Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo said the classroom-pupil and teacher-studio ratios in most cities have changed greatly in recent years.
He said such changes “might have been caused by overpopulation among other contributing factors.”
“Kung titingnan natin, yung teacher-pupil ratio dating nasa 1:45. For School Year 2017-2018, the teacher-student ratio is 1:31 for the elementary level, 1:36 for Junior High School level, and 1:31 for Senior High School level (If we’ll look at it, the teacher-pupil ratio before is 1:45. For School Year 2017-2018, the teacher-student ratio is 1:31 for the elementary level, 1:36 for Junior High School level, and 1:31 for Senior High School level,” Mateo said in a statement.
In line with the department’s effort to provide students and teachers with environment conducive to learning, Mateo reassured the Committee on Basic Education and Culture of the House of Representatives that DepEd will continue conducting interventions to achieve ideal class size and teacher-student ratio in public schools nationwide.
Mateo quoted House Bill 473 or An Act Regulating Class Size in All Public Schools and Appointing Funds Thereof which says one teacher shall handle a standard class size of 35 learners with a maximum of no more than 50 students.
“ This not one size fits all. For example, in Kinder the parameter used is 25 learners with a maximum of 30. This means we try to hit the 1:25 but if it exceeds 31, that is decision point to add teachers. In Grade 1, we're attempting to have 1:30, 36 is decision point to provide additional teachers. In Grade 3, the maximum is 35. In Grade 5-10, the planning parameter is 1:40. In SHS, even though 1:40 is our planning parameter, we have to factor in the subject specialization of teachers,” Mateo said.
Aside from reducing class size, DepEd is looking into acquisition of land for school sites, construction of multi-story school buildings in areas with limited land space, and use of shuttle services in cooperation with local government units to transport students to schools with available classrooms.
The department has also requested from the government the creation of more non-teaching positions for support staff in schools such as bookkeepers, disbursing officers, among others, to ensure that teachers will have more time to focus on lesson preparations and conduct of classes. (PNA)