Multigrade madness in primary schools
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am a teacher at a multigrade school. This academic year, I have been given the nearly impossible task of teaching grades four and five. This is a difficult, daunting task (putting it mildly) for many reasons. Here are a few.
First, these are two exam classes. At the end of the school year, students of grade four will have to do performance tasks in language arts and mathematics, while students of grade five will have to be prepared for performance tasks in language arts, maths, social studies, and science.
At the end of the year, I will be judged by the performance of my students, and no one will remember that I had to teach two grades at the same time.
Second, this school year will be difficult for me because of lesson planning. I will have to search both curricular guides to find topics common to both grades. This will erode my sleep time and family time.
I therefore beg the Ministry of Education to release the multigrade manual that has been promised to schools. I also beseech them to seriously reconsider the notion of alloting teachers to schools based on the number of students enrolled.
If the Government is unwilling to make changes, it should just close the schools and put us out of our misery.