Lanka Guru Sangamaya General Secretary Joseph Stalin yesterday filed a writ petition in Court of Appeal seeking an order directing the Education Minister to make regulations pertaining admissions to government schools, limiting the number of students in a grade 1 classroom to 35.
Education Minister Prof. G.L Pieris, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Prof. K. Kapila C.K. Perera and Director of Education (National Schools) were named as respondents in the petition.
The Petitioner state that it has been well accepted that in classroom settings of lower students per teacher enhances the quality of primary as well as secondary education. The Petitioner states that in settings where a teacher has a lesser number of students to instill education, teachers are able to effectively communicate lessons to their students.
The Petitioner further state that in terms of the aforementioned report submitted to the United Nations, General Assembly it has been identified that various countries have as a matter of policy introduced laws that mandate a given average number of students per classroom, with a view to ensure and maintain the quality of education. The Petitioner states that the said report highlights that in Finland the average student to teacher ratio is 20-25 and in Serbia it stands at 25, France maintains an average ratio of 22.7 and Qatar aims in policy to reduce its ratio down to 13-15 students per classroom.
He states that increasing number of student admissions per classroom were causing much harm to the overall quality of education, in the case bearing no. SC/FR 232/2011, the Secretary to the Ministry of Education (then) gave an undertaking to Supreme Court that the maximum number of students per classroom shall be 35 from 2016 onwards.