zaterdag 6 juni 2009

Class sizes prompt teacher’s debate

Scottish teachers are becoming increasingly discontented with the sizes of their classes. They are even considering going on strike.
The government has stipulated that classes in primary education should not have more than eighteen children. However, in practice this aim is only reached in half of the councils in Scotland. Most councils claim that they do not have the financial means needed to cut down class sizes. Ronnie Smith, general secretary of Scotland’s largest teachers’ union – the Educational Institute of Scotland – is of the opinion that the Scottish government should take its responsibility, and that members of Scottish parliament should make sure that the promises they made about this subject are kept.

Personal reaction:

It seems to me that this problem has a political nature, based on how the Scottish authority is structured. First, there is the Scottish government that is also linked to the government of Great Britain as whole. Then there are the local councils, or local authorities. They enforce the government’s acts in their respective territories.
In this case, the local councils have not obeyed the laws that were fixed by the government. I am not sure if the Scottish government has the power to take measures against this kind of behaviour, but I do agree with Mr. Smith that if MSPs promised to reduce class sizes, than the local governments should be forced to make sure that this really happens.

3 opmerkingen:

  1. If I were a teacher in Scotland I would participate in the strike. I find eighteen children in a class more than enough. The government wants special attention for all children but in real life this is not possible.
    At my school we have some classes of 31 children. Often, you first have to search for a table because there are not enough in each classroom. My colleagues also want smaller classes but it is not up to them to decide. Perhaps a strike here is also worth a shot!

  2. Hello dears,

    This is a world wide problem. My aunt is also an english teacher in Spain and she also has to deal with 32 pupils in each class. Schools keep admitting too much students to assure the finances, but I have the feeling that the headmasters do not realise what it is to teach this way. The half of the teaching time is waisted in trying to keep the pupils quiet and getting them to do something. There is no time to pay attention to the individual problems of the kids. It is really a shame. We should strike in Holland to.

  3. I agree with Simone and Jessica! I would go on strike too if I were a teacher in Scotland. The government has to solve this problem. I believe 18 children in one class are more then enough; they all need attention. The goverment needs to take action SOON!