Benjamin Siu, 16 St Joseph's College Small-class teaching will only be successful with an improvement of the education system. Hong Kong has an exam-oriented syllabus. Students have to tackle past papers, assessments, tests, mock exams and real exams. A good teacher must be able to guide students through these obstacles, and inspire them to look at a subject broadly. How many teachers are capable of doing this? Not many, if you look at the number of students that attend tutorial lessons these days. If small-class teaching was introduced, schools would need more teachers. But how many good teachers are available? If small-class teaching was introduced, the quality of teachers would vary, which means not all students would get a good education. It would also be harder to regulate standards because of the increase in the number of classes. I agree that small-class teaching would facilitate interaction between teachers and students. Also, teachers would be able to give their students more attention and help the weaker ones. If Hong Kong's schools became places of inspiration instead of perspiration, single-class teaching would be great. But until then, it would not be very practical or helpful. Jocelyn Heng, 15 Maryknoll Convent School Yes, because both students and teachers will benefit from such a policy. Although attempts have been made to improve the learning environment in schools, many students are passive and unmotivated. Small-class teaching could improve the relationship between teachers and students and pave the way to a healthy learning environment. There are several drawbacks under the current teacher-to-student ratio of 1:40. For example, teachers are unable to concentrate on the weaker students. With smaller-size classes, teachers would be able to take care of everyone's needs and adjust the curriculum depending on the students' requirements. This would encourage participation and enhance students' interest in learning. Schools would be able to make maximum use of their teachers' skills. Teachers might feel limited by the current set-up in schools. Smaller classes would give them the freedom to adopt more flexible teaching methods. Small-class teaching is not completely new: a pilot scheme has already been introduced in more than 30 primary schools. In North America, classes with 20 students are common. It is important that Hong Kong explore this concept.