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2.2.9 Indicator 11: Pupil Teacher Ratio of qualified teachers in – Primary Cycle

The current Pupil Teacher Ratio – PTR (for 1998) for the whole school is 24:1 and for the primary cycle it is 32:1. This indicates a generally satisfactory situation as the target to be reached by 2001 is 26:1 for primary and 22:1 for the secondary. The progressive decline in the number of children reaching school going age owing to the demographic changes make it even easier to achieve the targets. But even province wise PTR figures for the primary cycle given in the Table 9 and

represented in Figure 4 show a wide disparity ranging from 27.6 in the Southern Province to 43.9 in the Northern Province, currently experiencing civil strife. The Eastern province which is also affected by unsettled conditions has a PTR of 38.3 pupils. Despite all the efforts made to provide education for all this disparity continues because of the failure to implement a rational scheme for the deployment of teachers. School wise teacher shortages are also owed to the failure to rationalise the school system and the continued maintenance of a large number of schools with very low pupil enrolments especially in the post primary grades. Such schools are permitted to function even in locations having sufficient schools. 1277 schools have less than 51 pupils on roll while 1412 have between 51 and 100 pupils. 1301 of these small schools have PTRs ranging from 1 to 9. The schools with very small enrolments are unable to provide a satisfactory curriculum and an enriching learning environment to the pupils. Attempts were made beginning in 1983 to have an equitable teacher provision to the schools through the strict application of a ‘Ready Reckoner’ in computing school – wise teacher needs. The insistence of the use of the ready reckoner was relaxed in 1989 together with the provisions for ensuring the recruitment of academically qualified teachers. Currently the Ministry of Education & Higher Education is implementing a project for the improvement of Teacher Education and Teacher Deployment with the assistance of the World Bank. One of the main objectives of this project is to achieve a Pupil Teacher Ratio to 26:1 for the primary cycle. The Ready Reckoner to assess teacher need school wise has been revised to achieve this target.

Table 9 : Pupil teacher ratio by province-selected years

Province

1990

1992

1996

1997

1998

Western

29.3

31.3

29.7

31.5

33.3

Central

27.6

28.2

28.8

27.5

31.7

Southern

26.1

25.9

25.4

26.9

27.6

Northern

41.9

44.0

43.9

Eastern

38.4

33.2

38.3

North Western

26.8

28.1

26.2

25.8

30.5

North Central

28.6

28.5

27.1

29.4

30.8

Uva

28.2

28.7

27.3

27.1

32.9

Sabaragamuwa

26.4

26.5

25.5

27.8

30.3

Sri Lanka

29.1

29.5

28.5

29.7

32.3

Source : MEHE - EMIS

The Map 4 illustrates the pupil teacher ratios for the years 1990, 1995 and 1998 by provinces

Map 4 (not available)

2.2.10. Indicator 12 : Repetition rates by grade (Government Schools)

In the Sri Lankan context a repeater is considered as a pupil retained in the same class for another year for not being able to reach a level of achievement to justify progression to the next grade. This decision is taken by the head of the school on the recommendation made by the teacher in charge of a particular class. As there are no national norms to identify repeaters, decision making, which in any case is very lenient, varies from school to school and from grade to grade. Repetition rate is more conveniently used as an indicator to measure efficiency and generally depends on the performance of pupils at term end and year end examinations. Out of the 4 types of schools namely 1AB, 1C, 2 and 3 grade repetition prevails mainly in type 2 and 3 schools situated in the remote areas, plantation areas and in deprived urban areas of the country.

The Table 10 gives data about Repetition Rates Grades 1-5 for the year 1997. When both males and females are taken together, repetition rates for the country range between the minimum of 3.8 percent at grade 1 against 5.8 percent at grade 3. A noteworthy feature is that the percentage of repeaters increase continuously from grade 1 to 3 and decrease onwards up to grade 5. For all grades repetition rates are slightly greater for males when compared with females.

Table 10 : Repetition Rate by Gender and Grade, 1997

Grade

Male

Female

Total

1

4.4

3.3

3.8

2

6.2

4.5

5.3

3

6.8

4.7

5.8

4

6.5

4.4

5.5

5

6.0

4.0

5.0

Source : MEHE - EMIS

When the repetition rates are compared among provinces (Tables 11 and 12) the most significant feature is the low repetition rate in the Western Province for all grades and for both sexes when compared with corresponding rates for the other provinces. The rates for the Western province for both sexes for grade 1 to 5 for 1997 (Table 12 ) are 4.0 percent (grade 1), 5.3 percent (grade 2), 5.3 percent (grade 3), 4.8 percent (grade 4) and 4.2 percent (grade5) as against 4.4 percent, 7.9 percent, 7.3 percent, 7.8 percent and 7.5 percent respectively in the Northern Province, which are higher than in other provinces. This situation may be attributed to the unsettled conditions in these provinces. In rest of the provinces high repetition could be observed in Uva, Central, and Sabaragamuwa provinces.

When the rates of 1997 are compared with 1990, the percentage of repeaters have declined in 1997 for all grades for both males and females in all the provinces.

Table 11 : The Repetition Rate – 1990

Prov

Grade1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

WP

4.6

3.3

4.0

6.2

4.2

5.3

6.2

4.3

5.3

5.7

3.8

4.8

5.1

3.2

4.2

CP

9.1

7.7

8.4

11.5

9.9

10.7

11.3

9.3

10.4

10.7

8.4

9.6

9.7

6.6

8.3

SP

5.5

3.5

45

9.7

6.7

8.2

9.9

6.4

8.2

10.0

6.2

8.2

8.6

5.0

6.9

NP

5.0

3.7

4.4

9.0

6.7

7.9

8.5

6.5

7.5

8.9

6.7

7.8

8.4

6.5

7.5

EP

9.6

8.9

9.3

15.3

13.7

14.5

16.6

14.7

15.7

16.1

14.2

15.1

15.0

13.0

14.0

NWP

8.2

6.3

7.3

11.1

8.0

9.6

10.6

7.4

9.1

9.8

6.6

8.2

8.8

5.8

7.3

NCP

5.3

4.5

4.9

10.6

8.4

9.5

10.4

8.2

9.3

10.4

8.3

9.4

9.1

6.8

8.0

UvaP

8.6

7.6

8.1

11.9

9.6

10.8

13.2

10.5

11.9

12.7

9.4

11.1

11.6

8.5

10.1

SabP

6.6

5.1

5.9

9.9

6.9

8.4

10.2

7.0

8.7

9.9

6.5

8.3

8.5

5.2

6.9

SL

6.8

5.4

6.2

10.1

7.8

9.0

10.2

7.7

9.0

9.8

7.1

8.5

8.7

6.0

7.4

Source : MEHE-EMIS

WP-Western Province, CP – Central Province, SP – Southern Province, NP – Northern Province, EP – Eastern Province, NWP – North Western Province, NCP – North Central Province, UvaP – Uva Province, SabP –Sabaragamuwa Province

Table 12: Repetition Rate 1997

Prov

Grade1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

WP

1.5

1.0

1.3

2.5

1.7

2.1

2.8

1.7

2.3

3.1

1.8

2.5

3.3

1.6

2.4

CP

4.8

3.9

4.4

7.0

5.4

6.2

7.7

5.7

6.7

7.8

5.8

6.9

7.1

5.3

6.2

SP

4.0

2.7

3.4

6.0

3.6

4.8

6.4

3.7

5.1

5.8

3.4

4.7

5.9

3.2

4.6

NP

6.6

5.7

6.2

6.8

6.0

6.4

8.0

5.6

6.9

7.1

5.4

6.3

6.8

5.2

6.0

EP

6.2

5.2

5.7

10.1

8.9

9.5

10.5

9.0

9.8

11.0

8.9

10.0

10.3

8.5

9.4

NWP

5.1

3.7

4.4

6.8

4.2

5.6

6.5

4.1

5.4

5.5

3.4

4.5

4.8

2.9

3.9

NCP

3.6

3.0

3.3

6.3

4.0

5.2

7.8

5.4

6.6

7.4

5.0

6.3

6.2

4.2

5.2

UvaP

6.2

4.5

5.4

8.3

6.4

7.4

9.6

7.2

8.4

9.5

6.3

8.0

8.4

5.8

7.1

SabP

4.8

3.5

4.2

6.3

4.3

5.3

6.7

4.5

5.6

6.0

3.7

4.9

5.9

3.4

4.7

SL

4.4

3.3

3.8

6.2

4.5

5.4

6.8

4.7

5.7

6.5

4.4

5.5

6.1

4.0

5.1

Source : MEHE-EMIS

The repetition rates for grade 1 to 5 in 1990 and 1997 are given in the following table 13

Table 13: Repetition rates by Grade

Year

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

1990

6.2

9.0

9.0

8.5

7.4

1997

3.8

5.4

5.8

5.5

4.0

Source : MEHE-EMIS

For the country (males and females taken together) the repetition rate has decreased from 6.2 percent to 3.8 percent at grade 1. 9 percent to 5.4 percent at grade 2, 9 percent to 5.8 percent at grade 3, 8.5 percent to 5.5 percent at grade 4 and from 7.4 percent to 4.0 percent at grade 5. Though these figures are impressive a common feature that has been observed is the existence of under achieving pupils in upper grades. It has also been observed that some of the educational authorities in various regions discourage repetition. Some parents demand the promotion of their

children with a view to obtaining a certificate for completing a higher grade, required to seek employment. Some school authorities are reluctant to disqualify students as repetition prevents them in sitting the grade 5 scholarship examination. The data in the Table 12 is represented in the Map 5.

2.2.11 Effects of special foreign funded projects

Various quality inputs and infrastructure facilities were provided under the General Education Project 1 funded by the World Bank. The SIDA provided financial assistance for a 12 year period from 1987 to 1998 for the development of deprived, remote primary schools and plantation schools. All the SIDA funded projects were concerned with the reducing of grade repetition and dropout. The DFID-UK is presently funding for the improvement of the standard of Primary Mathematics and Primary English throughout the country (PMP and PEP-Project) and also for the preparation of a Master Plan for Primary Education (PEPP- Project).

As mentioned above one of the objectives of SIDA supported programmes was to reduce repetition and dropouts in the primary cycle. All schools developed by the Primary Schools Development Project were disadvantaged remote schools and plantation schools (schools developed by Plantation School Education Development Project- PSEDP). The following tables give the status of repetition at two points in these schools in 1990s.

Table 14 : Repetition Rates Grade 1 – 5 (SIDA Project Schools)

Year

Male

Female

Total

1993

10.7

6.6

8.6

1997

5.2

3.0

4.1

Source : Primary school development project, 1999

Table 15: Grade 5 Repetition Rates in Plantation Sector Schools

District

Year

Male

Female

Total

Nuwara Eliya 1994

16.5

17.1

14.3

1997

13.8

12.7

13.3

Kandy 1994

9.1

9.1

9.1

1996

10.5

10.7

10.7

Matale 1994

17.3

10.0

13.7

1996

9.4

5.1

7.8

Ratnapura 1994

20.5

15.8

19.0

1997

22.7

14.4

18.8

Badulla 1994

15.7

12.1

13.7

1996

19.5

13.1

16.7

Source : Swedish Support to the MEHE report, 1999

The above two tables clearly indicate that the repetition rates in disadvantaged schools are sometimes even higher than 10 percent.


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