National class size plans get a D - for dumb

National seems to have decided class size won't make much of a difference to our education system, writes Theresa Grigg, of Logan Park High School.

Because being in a crowded, over heated classroom with several dozen chattering students isn't already stressful enough for teachers!

Come to think of it, it is also pretty stressful for the students who are desperately trying to scrape a pass in NCEA building on the basics of maths they learnt in primary school.

Oh, wait. The basics learnt in primary school?

That might be a bit of a problem if primary school class sizes are increased like National proposes.

Rather than the relaxed classroom atmosphere where the teacher could take the time to see if you were correctly spelling the word 'opinion' and help you if needed, the teacher will have nearly thirty children aged six to seven years old all clamouring for attention for "How do you read this word?" and "Jimmy stole my toy!"

Despite this talk of toys; (oddly enough, children seem to be playthings of the government) primary school is one of the most influential times of our educational lives.

It's where you learn the alphabet, learn to read, master the times table and social skills.

These are all vital things needed in life. Maths, literacy and the ability to communicate will be needed all through our lives; to get jobs and to function in this world.

But when there are more children competing for the teacher's attention, they may not have the time to get around to talking to the students who are struggling.

So students can easily slip through the cracks, which is definitely not going to help anything.

Especially when the students reach high school or intermediate and the work level is raised in leaps and bounds.

So how is this going to affect future education?

We're already being told at high school that NCEA is being toughened, that our year (2012's Year 13) was lucky to scrape through before the new aligned standards came in.

If the standards are more complicated, and the early schooling less efficient . . . does it really need to be spelled out?

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