Calls for 1:25 student-teacher ratio in classrooms

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

As part of efforts to fast-track effective learning culture and improve academic excellence in public schools especially in primary and secondary schools nationwide, A group, Charge.org, has called for 1:25 ratio of student-teacher in the primary school classrooms for effective teaching and learning experience.

The group also called on the Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Wahab Alawiye-King to employ the service of more qualified teachers and reduce the number of children in the classroom.

According to research carried out by the group, it was revealed that in many primary schools in Lagos State, many teachers are retiring and there are fewer teachers in the classrooms.

Finding showed that, in 2010, the pupil-teacher ratio in primary schools in Nigeria was 37.55 which is far from being an effective teaching environment.

“Reducing the ratio to 1 teacher to 25 students will be a great start to closing the academic and opportunity gap in Lagos state considering the population of young children.

READ ALSO: LASUBEB Chairman recommends EKOEXCEL, EdoBEST for national basic education transformation

An eyewitness account, Sakirat Kuti, shared her experience, “I spent my formative years in Nigeria and as a student, I struggled through both primary and secondary school. Sometimes, there would be more than sixty students in a classroom and only one certified teacher with maybe another adult to help them. We were seated by height, and as a result, I often found myself seated in the middle of the classroom.

“Despite not being seated in the back, and even though my teachers’ voices were loud enough to reach all the students, I did not feel seen, and I did not feel heard. There were too many students and too few teachers. Most of my teachers either knew my face or knew my name, but they did not know both. If you asked them, they could neither put a name to the face nor a face to the name. As a result, the teachers could not meet my educational needs.

“The inability of my teachers to meet my needs in the classroom contributed to my learning challenges, and these challenges only worsened, even up until I graduated high school. The environment made it so that I was barely able to learn. I was struggling to make connections between what I was being taught and what I was learning and retaining. I began to feel as if I had a language processing disorder.

“It is because of my own experiences and because of so many others who experienced the same struggles, that I now appeal to the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) chairman  Wahab Olawale Alawiye-King to reduce the student-teacher ratio in the primary school classrooms to 1:25. Doing so will allow for children to receive the responsive support they need to achieve academic success.

“Furthermore, smaller class sizes with better equipped and more qualified teachers allow for educators to provide individualization and support. In the long-term, this can help close the nation’s opportunity and the achievement gap because students would be better prepared for success in education and consequently, in life”, she said.

The Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Honourable Wahab Alawiye-King has been elected Dean (Chairman) of Forum of SUBEB Chairmen in Nigeria.

Alawiye-King was unanimously elected on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 during the Forum’s ongoing meeting in Benin City, Edo State.

The Forum is themed, “Enhancing Access, Equity and standards in Basic Education Through Technology-Driven Initiatives”, with the management team of the Universal Basic Education Commission in attendance.

Alawiye-King who has been described as an adherent of digital transformation in the basic education sector was a two-term Honourable member of Lagos State House of Assembly, where he served as Chairman House Committee on Education, Science, and Technology.

 A team player in the actualization of the Education and Technology pillar of the THEMES AGENDA of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration in Lagos State, Hon. Alawiye-King’s appointment as the Dean is equally in recognition of his giant strides and various pacesetting innovation in Basic Education in Lagos State.

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