BY GARY-JON LYSAGHT
Shadow Education minister Jihad Dib has visited the Hunter
today to tour public schools in Newcastle’s western suburbs to get a better
understanding of the issues of overcrowding.
Jihad Dib
He was joined by Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery who holds the
issue of student and teacher welfare close to heart.
“As a former teacher myself, one wants to teach in
classrooms that are comfortable because that enhances better learning,” she
said.
The pair will sit down and discuss possible solutions with
local Principals.
Nine schools in the western suburbs are at full capacity,
while more are nearing capacity.
The Government has been blamed for the overcrowding, with
Hornery suggesting they haven’t given schools the opportunity to have growth
space.
“This Government has forced schools that are above capacity
to make the difficult decision to either place more demount-able classrooms on
shrinking school space or continue teaching in overcrowded classrooms,” she
said.
“I would like to encourage the Government to ensure that they
pay attention to the needs of all schools in NSW.”
A

2012 study

looked at overcrowded schools in Pakistan and
found it can often lead to lower education standards.
“The outcome of the study indicated that effective
teaching was not possible in overcrowded classes and majority of the teachers were facing
instructional, discipline, physical and evaluation problems,” the study found.
To address the issue, the study’s writers, Parveen Khan and
Mohammas Iqbal suggested it was the Government’s job to help.
“In order to solve these problems … [the] government should
make strict rules and policies regarding optimum students in classrooms and
provide sufficient budget to education department for providing better
facilities in schools,” the study found.
Sonia Hornery echoed the study’s findings.
“If you have a classroom that’s overcrowded you simply as a
teacher don’t get the time to spend attention individually on each student,”
she said.

“It’s making sure we can accommodate our students and
families for the future needs and future growth in the Wallsend area.”