Well, anything that affects value added proposition of product and services matters? Would number of students in a school affects the value added proposition of the institution.
If all other variables being equal, would the quality of classroom engagement be affected in a school that takes in 15 students per class compare to a school that takes in 25 students per class or how about 35 students per class or 45 students per class or 55 students per class. (Remember all things being equal means the qualitIes of the teachers are not in question).
I would think that teachers should be able to offer a higher degree of personalize attention in a small classroom. From experience, small class size matters more in primary school level. Class size will affect the value added in teaching. Interesting it should not be too small either. Otherwise, the students are being condition to work with very limited peers. Peers is an important factor in learning.
A school that takes in less than 10 students per class at secondary school level and charges less than RM800 per student would not be ideal. The total revenue raised in a small classroom may limit the programmes offered. 10 x RM800 = RM8,000. Typically each classroom must have at least 1.5 teachers on average to offer a good variety of lessons. Good schools that offer high value added programmes would allocate nearly 1.8 to 2 teachers per class. Collecting a total revenue of less than RM10,000 per class would compromise on value of its programmes.
It will compromise on teachers’ pay scale. The revenue will limit the school ability to offer English at two different levels (First and Second language), the school would not be able to offer Chinese at two different levels, the school would not be able to offer a wider choices of elective subjects. It is likely that the school will experience a high turnover of teachers. Between big classroom and small classroom, there is an ideal number. Striking the right balance in classroom size is the key to being able add value to the choices of programmes being offered. One can trade off for smaller size of class by paying higher school fees.
Size of classroom is one thing, size of school is another. Would size of a school affect value of its programmes or offer more opportunity to learn. Obviously Yes.
Would the quality of the learning be affected in school that has less than 100 students compare to a school that has less than 200 students or a school that has less than 300 or a school that has less than 500 or a school that has less than 1000 or a school that has less than 10,000.
Sometimes you see small school combine students from different year group together in the same classroom. It will compromise learning.
Much of the variables that we need to tweak in order to affect educational improvement require resources. Without scale a school will not be able to raise the needed resources.
So what size is ideal for a school? Presently, based on my experience I think an ideal school should have between 800 – 1,000 students to be well resourced.
In summary, a decent school need to manage scale so that in aggregate it would be able to raise resources which are needed to effectively tweak variables that has a positive impact on educational improvement. Therefore scale affect value added proposition. Conversely, as parents, we should be worried if a school does not have scale, and consequently could not manage to raise enough funding. Disclaimer: Edu-Techies may not agree with me. It is ok. We can agree to disagree.
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are those of the author; they do not necessarily reflect the views of MalaysiaInternationalSchools.com and those affiliated to it.