By PHOEBE GWANGILO
EDUCATION Minister Nick Kuman, pictured, wants the number of teachers to be increased from 56,000 to 70,000 to cater for the increase in the number of students.
This would ensure a “reasonable teacher-student ratio”.
“In my own calculation, with two million students in our school system, we need at least 70,000 teachers,” Kuman said.
Last year a head teacher of a primary school in Port Moresby told The National that a teacher was teaching 60 to 80 students in a classroom.
“We are silently killing ourselves in the classroom,” she said.
“The normal minimum teacher-student ratio should be one teacher to 36 or maximum 45 students.”
Kuman said the current ratio was one teacher to more than 50 students which must be reduced in secondary, primary and elementary schools.
“In secondary schools, we look at one teacher to 30 to 35 students,” he said.
“In primary schools, one teacher to 30 to 45 students in the classroom.
“Ideal ratio of teacher-student interaction is very important.”
“We graduate close to 2,000 teachers each year. About 300 to 400 teachers come out of the system.
“There is plus there but we need to train a lot more teachers to bridge that gap to have proper teacher-student ratio.”
Next week, Kuman will be in India to recruit specialised teachers in mathematics and science.