China / Society

New standard set for preschool class sizes

By Luo Wangshu ( Updated: 2013-01-24 20:55

The teacher to student ratio at new kindergartens should be 1:5 to 1:7, according to the Ministry of Education.

The ministry released an experimental standard on Tuesday on its website, saying that at current kindergartens, the standard should be accomplished in three years.

The standard requires each full-day class to have three full-time teachers, or two teachers and one nurse. Half-day classes must have at least two full-time teachers.

Boarding classes require one more teacher and nurse based on the standard for full-day classes.

Schools in rural areas require two full-time teachers and are encouraged to have one nurse.

The ministry's previous standard, set in 1987, was 1:6 to 1:7. However, due to the growing demand for places, many kindergartens failed to meet the standard.

"Each class in our kindergarten has at least 30 children, and three teachers and one nurse," said a teacher from a key kindergarten in Beijing who declined to be named, adding that the ratio is much worse in many other kindergartens, especially in rural areas.

Kindergartens face a severe teacher shortage.

Wang Xiaoyan, deputy director of the National Center for Educational Development Research, also expressed concern about teacher quality.

It is important for kindergarten to hire properly qualified teachers, she said.

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