Here’s how to achieve an optimal student/tutor ratio


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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Trésor Salix NGABIRANO, a Burundian and a 4th year medical student at the University of Burundi. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

According to the UNESCO definition, that ratio is defined as the average number of students per teacher in a given level of education and for a given school year, based on the number of students as well as that of teachers. So you will understand that the higher the ratio, the greater the number of students occupied by each teacher. From there,it will be the students who will become victims in particular by a poor achievement performance due to the less attention that each student will benefit from his teacher; but also in the long term will result in an economic decline of the country concerned.

To compensate for an educational deficiency which is likely to affect all the constituent sectors of a country,a lot of measures will have to be taken.On the frontline of this battle, each government must be drastically involved by allocating a substantial budget dedicated to the education of youth.We observe in my country, for example,a policy of building schools and another of free school fees which are generally very contributing to the eradication of illiteracy; but that by themselves is not enough on its own to achieve the desired result.It is for this reason that he should in addition to this make available a specific sum for the recruitment of new teachers to fill the vacancies in order to lower the student/ tutor ratio. And this should in no case be overlooked on all levels of education, from preschool to higher education.

Secondly, the question of the deployment of teachers must be studied and resolved; because regional or even provincial disparities still persist. While all of this is a bad factor in an ideal student-teacher ratio.Indeed, the least affluent provincial directorates of education (DPE) should be the first to be privileged, thanks to needs assessments carried out by communal education directorates (DCE).However, redeployment, which is said to be a real solution to the disparity in deployment, can be done and rather cause other problems such as the long distances to travel to get to work and the lack of severance pay for teachers, while for example health and justice workers have them. An insufficient salary added to all that has just been listed leads to the non-motivation of teachers who, sometimes when life smiles at them otherwise prefer to embark on other sectors such as commerce, justifying thus further their attrition.

Finally, education is the undeniable pillar of improving the economic condition of communities, a country, and the world. Reason why it must appear in the first three or even two priorities of the states on which it is necessary to pay all the attention; which implies a considerable effort by any government towards it. Parents should also get involved massively in order to monitor the functioning of the establishments in which their children study through the parents’ committees of each school.

About the author

Trésor Salix NGABIRANO is a Burundian and a 4 th year medical student at the University of Burundi. He’s a member of ABEM-Burundi (Association Burundaise des étudiants en Médecine), in which he is a member of the communication team and part of SCOPH-Burundi, one of the standing committees of the ABEM dealing with public health. He also coordinates the “Hospital project” of the Twubake Kazoza association. He likes reading, writing and doing sports at his spare time.

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