Smaller classes: Boon or bane?

Greenview Secondary School will be merged with Loyang Secondary in 2018, one of the 22 schools that MOE said will be whittled down to 11 over the next two years. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

There are 36 students in Asher Tan's Sec 1 class at Greenview Secondary School, and they already make up almost half of his school's Sec 1 cohort, which totals about 80.

But he spends the majority of time in his class with a smaller group of 18 as the class is split into half for main academic subjects like English, mathematics and science.

The periods when he can meet the other half of the students in his class are during recess and general classes like physical education or Mother Tongue.

Asher says that during classes, he gets called on by his teacher more often.

"There are a lot more students in my friends' schools. It's a bit weird knowing that I will be in the same class with the same people for four years, unless some of the students from the Normal stream transfer in," said Asher, who is 13 years old.

He has band practice sessions twice a week, with about six other Secondary 1 students.

There are about 20 students in each of the other levels in his co-curricular activity.

"I don't mind merging with other schools," said Asher. "Maybe we can meet our friends in other schools that way."

On the other hand, Sebestian Goh, a Sec 1 student at Bishan Park Secondary School, likes the fact that his class has fewer than 20 students.

"Not a lot of people will talk at the same time, so the teacher listens to us more," he said.

"We get a higher chance of getting a leadership position in school," said Joshua Orpia, a Sec 1 student at Chong Boon Secondary School.

Yuen Sin

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 06, 2016, with the headline Smaller classes: Boon or bane?. Subscribe