Size Isn’t Everything – As These Schools Prove!

by A Guest Author

School class sizes in Britain are always a topic of heated debate. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the UK has more pupils per class than any of the other 30 Western Countries under its remit.

Image by BSFinHull

The average of the OECD countries was 21.5 pupils per class, but Britain tops them with 24.5 per class. Despite throwing millions of pounds at this, the problem hasn’t gone away. But UK private schools have on average 13 pupils less per class.

But this pales in significance if you look further round the globe – let’s have a look at class sizes around the world – starting with the smallest...

Pintsize school

If there were rewards for schools that give all their attention to students, it has to be the elementary school in Sanhe, Southern China. It started out with 400 students, but as work dried up and people left to go to the cities in the ‘90’s, they were finally left with just 10 pupils.

At this point, they decided to close the school, giving the remaining pupils the option of going to a new school two hours away and boarding there during the week. But Han Hongyang’s parents couldn’t afford the boarding fees, so her amazing 61 year old teacher Li, decided to stay and teach her himself.

Luckily, he is well versed in all the core subjects such a maths, Chinese, Korean, geography, P.E. and history. I would think this has got to be the greatest gift a teacher could give a pupil, and you can’t get much better than one-to-one tuition!

The School of Thousands

Frome one extreme to the other, I went in search of the world’s largest school. If you thought that 24.5 pupils was a lot, imagine having to divide 33,000 students into classes! This is what they have to do at the Montessori School in Lucknow, India. And the last head-count was four years ago, so there is every chance that it’s expanded since then.

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Luckily it isn’t one massive school building though, but is spread over 20 different campuses all over Lucknow.

The other unique selling point this school has is its commitment to educating children about world peace. The City Montessori follows the Baha’i faith which has at its core a commitment to spreading a global message of world peace.

So, instead of playground fights and the hard girls bullying you for your pocket this school, you have tens of thousands of students who participate in huge international events that promote peace and unity in the world!

This is an amazing feat, and now they have been rewarded!  In 2002, the City Montessori won the Prize for Peace Education from none other than the United Educational, Scientific and Cultural Education (UNESO), the first school in the world to be nominated for such an award.

It would be wonderful if this school could bottle some of what they’ve got and pour it over other countries, don’t you think?

Do you know of any unusual schools around the world? I’d love to hear about them.

About the Author

Elise Lévêque is an ambitious freelance translator with a passion for anything and everything social media. She can often be found sipping on a latté, and wandering the city with her Lomo camera on the hunt for the newest piece of controversial art. She also loves to blog for Carrot in her spare time.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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