Government must bring down class sizes

Wednesday 28 February 2007, 6:28PM

By Sam Farrow


New Zealand high school students are getting an average of six minutes of one-on-one time with each of their teachers, each week, says the Post Primary Teachers Association.

The PPTA said it carried out a survey of class sizes at 66 schools around the country, which found students spent about half their time in classes with at least 25 others.

They spent one hour in every 10 in a class with more than 30 students, the results showed.

PPTA president Robin Duff said the Government needed to stick to its promise to reduce teacher:student ratios at every level of secondary schooling.

Large class sizes caused more student behaviour problems, fewer opportunities for practical exercises, and raised safety issues related to a lack of personal space, Mr Duff said.

Schools rolls would be falling from next year, he said.

"So class size reductions can be phased in without the need to inject huge numbers of new teachers into the system."