SR Sg Teraban’s PSR success attributed to small teacher-to-student ratio

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BELAIT

A SMALL teacher-to-pupil ratio, attendance average of over 90 per cent and extra classes throughout the year allowed Sungai Teraban Primary School to record the biggest improvement in A to C grades in 2015’s Primary School Assesment (PSR) examinations.

Sungai Teraban Primary School, which reports an annual student population of around 50, managed to record a 100 per cent in A to C grades in its eight students who sat for their PSR exams last year, compared to only 40 per cent the year prior.

The school’s principal, who took office at the beginning of 2015, said that the school began introducing extra classes five days a week starting February leading up to the month of the exams to address the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science.

“We spread out the extra classes to 45 minutes a day, so the students would have an increased learning period each day instead of burdening them with a separate extra day or one or two days with many hours,” said Risrani Hj Abd Halim.

Classes ran from 12.45pm to 1.30pm, allowing students to grab a quick lunch after regular classes ended at 12.30pm.

For teaching strategy, the principal said its 14 teaching staff adhered to the Ministry of Education's guidelines, but maximised their small student population to give a more direct and up close learning experience for its students.

“Big schools have their advantages; such as more facilities. But we played to our strengths of being a smaller school; the smaller pupil -to-teacher ratio means that students have the opportunity to have a more one on one experience, but they still have to make it count,” said Risrani.

The principal added that the school's location – positioned in the last village before Brunei's border with Miri – has benefited attendance and student retention, allowing for continuity which boosts performance.

“Most of our yearly intake comes from Kindergarten or Year One; we rarely get students joining in the later years as our students are from families who were raised in Sg Teraban. The village itself is small, so travel time or transport to school is rarely an issue for students,” she said.

She also pointed out that statistics from a small student population needed to be taken at more than just face value, as they are more likely to show drastic fluctuations given the weight distributed to each student.

This year the school has 50 students, five students who will sit for PSR examinations, and Risrani is confident that they maintain their 100 per cent A to C record.

“The Ministry of Education has set an A to C target of above 80 percent this year, an increase from 72 per cent in 2015. We will do all we can to give the learning experience to enable students to achieve this goal,” said Risrani.

The Brunei Times