I write the following letter not as if I know anything more than anyone. Many points in this letter are stated as facts that nobody will disagree with. The final few questions are what’s really troubling me.
As issue existing in different cities, towns and communities, especially ones that are KA”H growing quickly, is the issue of physical space in some schools.
We’ve heard and seen much talk on this issue. Besides the “famous speech” that took place in Lakewood a couple of years back, there have been endless amounts of articles, comments and speeches on this issue. Many over the years have pointed fingers and blamed Administrators, Principals and Board Members.
Senseless Terminology we’ve heard, range from “gaiva gaiva gaiva”, to things like “power hungry, “controlling”, “money hungry” and other senseless terms, in my opinion.
Now to “The Flip Side”. With all the pressure and pushing etc; there are some schools that should I say, have responded? I have heard from credible sources that a school in my area, (and probably others as well) have accepted enough students to BE”H have 30+ students in their Primary classes come this September.
Just to break that down into simple English, the little 6 year old children will be attending class with 30 other children. The Rebbe/Teacher/Moroh will be attempting to teach Aleph Bais and then Kriyah to 30 children at once. Hopefully if they’re lucky, there will be an assistant. Rest assured though, that the following years there will be no assistant and it will be and 1:30 ratio of Rebbe to Talmid, Moroh to Talmidah for the remaining years in school.
There’s another point which can be verified by speaking to anyone in Chinuch. Unfortunately, in our existing schools, 1 out of every 5 children, or shall I say 20% of children need some extra attention or help. The cause for this many times, although it’s irrelevant for this letter, may be due to a serious illness in the family, a sibling dealing with other real crisis and/or a serious marriage problem in the family. Besides many of the children that are just simply born with an array of different learning and behavioral problems.
So now in a class of 30 children, we could pretty much assume that 6 children will be needing more personalized and customized attention and help. One real loaded question is, does the Rebbe/Moroh risk 24 other students and give more than the average amount of time to the 6 that need more help? Or do they unfortunately have to concentrate mainly on the 24 regular kids that also need full time attention? And for a minute, even forgetting about any special needs children. Even in a class of 30 Metzuyanim, will a 13 year old boy or girl in 8th grade, be able to have any kesher at all with the Rebbe/Moroh? Is this what we really asked for? Are we doing justice to our children by putting them into such conditions? Don’t get me wrong for a minute. I’m not in any way downplaying the serious issue of space and the repercussions of C”V not being able to accept all the applicants to any school, but is the “Flip Side” the proper alternative?
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