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Pupil-teacher ratio in city schools a dismal 80:1

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As reported by Chaavi Bhatia in expressindia.com on 30 December 2008:

Pupil-teacher ratio in city schools a dismal 80:1 - Express India


Pupil-teacher ratio in city schools a dismal 80:1


Chandigarh Students in city schools are battling an alarming trend. Contrary to the norm of 40:1, urban schools have a disturbing ratio of one teacher for every 80 students. This is in stark contrast to the pupil teacher ratio (PTR) in rural schools which is 47:1. Even as emphasis is being laid on decreasing the PTR, data provided by the Education department in response an RTI query presents a dismal picture. The primary students reportedly have no other choice but to vie for the teacher’s attention in a classroom of 80 students.


There is reason to cheer, however, for students of the upper primary level in both urban and rural schools. While the PTR at this level in rural schools is 30:1, the urban figure stands at 38:1.


“This has been the case for quite some time now. It is not only students who clamour for space in classrooms, teachers too are unable to devote adequate time to every one. With so many students in class, it becomes difficult to even remember the names of all the children,” says a teacher of Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 23.


Meanwhile, private schools such as Strawberry Field, Gurukul and Vivek High say they are taking extra care to maintain the right balance.


Keeping in view the troubling data, psychologists say that schools need to be cautious to avoid ‘disastrous’ after-effects. “Young children need more attention and teachers should take equal interest in all of them. Their foundation needs to be made strong and this can be done only if there are fewer students in the classroom. A teacher is unable to take note of the strengths and weaknesses of a student in a big class. This can have adverse effects on the child’s performance in the long run,” says Nisha Minocha, a child counsellor.


Commenting on the issue, Director Public Instructions (Schools) Samwartak Singh said, “We understand the need for a balanced PTR in a classroom. But the changes cannot be made overnight. It can be done only gradually as we have to take care of a lot of things like budget and infrastructure.”




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