Overcrowded classrooms in Northeast affecting education, report shows
Classrooms in the Northeast are seriously overcrowded, thus affecting the quality of education, a survey carried out by Mahasarakham University has found.
Education faculty dean Dr Prawit Erawan said yesterday that a recent survey of 300 schools in the Northeast found that the Education Ministry's policy of increasing student numbers per classroom affected the quality of lessons, leaving both students and teachers stressed out.
A report based on the survey, which urges the ministry to limit the number of students per classroom to no more than 35, says some large schools were found to have 50 students per classroom.
Teachers interviewed for the study said that the large number of students in their classes meant they were unable to arrange proper learning activities beyond lecturing. Teachers also suggested the appropriate number should be no more than 35 students per classroom.
An analysis of the report, Prawit said, showed that the class-size policy could lead to problems with patronage through student placement. He cited a number of large schools with as many as 3,000 to 6,000 students, and compared them with mid-sized and small schools, which lacked adequate numbers of students, because most parents aimed to get their children into larger schools.
As the Education Ministry provided a per-head subsidy, this was also leading to bigger schools receiving a larger share of the educational budget, which could in time widen the educational gap.
Prawit urged the ministry to keep student numbers at no more than 35 per classroom, so that large schools would not "hoard" students. He said this would reduce the problem of patronage and result in more effective educational management.