Class sizes and human resources

How many students are an average teacher in Singapore responsible for? How many teachers have responsibility for a single student over the course of his/her education in that single academic year? Over the years, there’s always questions raised in Parliament (or more recently here) and even internally within MOE about class sizes in Singapore. The answer has always been around considering resourcing for the students, more activities, more inputs, better quality, etc. And the conclusion, explicit or implied, is that we are progressing, improving and please don’t distract us from doing the good job we’re trying to do.

Maybe it’s time to stop giving non-answers? Maybe it’s time to say, look, our teachers are pretty burnt out, we’re making them responsible for too many things and parents are having higher and higher expectations on the schools without playing a stronger part in raising their kids themselves! So what if you send them for classes, or give them expensive toys that stimulates them, or expose them to different summer camps and experiences and so on. What are you teaching them? What are the values you seek to impart and how much time are you spending on that? How much of you; your attention, your capacity, your life are you giving your children? And how much are you outsourcing?

The most important human resource in the society that is responsible for moulding the future is not our teachers but our parents. In allowing the social narrative to load the responsibility on teachers, we are short-changing our children and our future generation. MOE should perhaps start education for parents, training them at parenting and stop shedding their responsibilities for their children to the system. Because that is the most important capability development that our society might need to help our next generation.