In a bid to downsize the teaching staff, Tamil Nadu government has decided to admit a larger number of students in classrooms at higher secondary level by increasing the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) to 60:1.
At present, the PTR stands at 26:1 at the secondary level, which is better than the national PTR norm of 40:1.
However, the School Education Department has planned to put one teacher per subject to handle 60 students in a class at the higher secondary level, which is Class 11 and 12. A senior official from the School Education Department told DT Next that the revision of PTR was done due to lack of teachers available at the higher secondary level.
“Appointing teachers at short notice is not possible as it has several formalities and therefore PTR revision is the only solution,” he added. According to the official, students from two sections of the same group in several schools will be clubbed to increase the PTR.
Opposing the government’s move, Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Association said that the stress level of both teachers and students is set to increase as they have to tackle the new syllabus, which was said to be tough, from this academic year. The revised PRT will add to their woes.
Association president PK Ilamaran said that increasing PTR will put more pressure on the teachers since they have to handle 60 students at a time, which will be very difficult. “In addition, doubts of each and every student cannot be cleared by the teacher,” he said.
Stating that students of Class 11 and 12, who will study the new and difficult syllabus, will also face tremendous pressure if they were dumped in large numbers in a classroom.
“As the new syllabus is prepared in such a way that students could face competitive exams at the national level easily, the PTR should be less,” he said.
He pointed out that the PRT at primary level is 30:1 and middle school level is 35:1. The PTR in high school level is 40:1.