This paper sets out Governments plan to phase out floating classes at Secondary 1 to 5 levels in all public sector schools by the year 2000.
2. For the implementation of nine-year free and compulsory education, most secondary schools were required, since the late 70s, to operate floating classes. One of the Governments major initiatives to improve the quality of education is to phase out floating classes at Secondary 1 to 5 levels in all public sector schools by the year 2000. For Secondary 6 and 7, such classes are considered acceptable because of their frequent use of special rooms for different subjects.
3. A recent survey indicates that, of the 373 Government and aided secondary schools, 129 are operating a total of 359 floating classes at Secondary 1 to 5 levels as follows:
School Building Design1||No. of Schools||No. of Floating|
Classes at S 1 to 5
|Old Standard Design||26||40
|New Standard Design||10||26
Action Taken to Reduce Floating Classes
Old Standard Design Schools
4. In the late 70s secondary schools of the old standard design were required to operate a total of 29 classes with a class structure 5-5-5-5-5-2-2 or 30 classes with a class structure 6-6-6-4-4-2-2 from Secondary 1 to 7. To reduce floating classes, extension works for two additional classrooms in 113 schools were completed in 1994. However, due to the demand for school places in a number of districts and the operational needs of individual schools, 26 such schools are still running 40 floating classes.
New Standard Design Schools
5. With a class structure 5-5-5-5-5-2-2 (29 classes) or 6-6-6-4-4-2-2 (30 classes), the new standard design schools are normally not required to operate floating classes at Secondary 1 to 5 levels. However, there are still 10 such schools which have to run 26 floating classes due to the demand for school places in their districts.
Schools of Other Designs
6. There are 93 secondary schools with floating classes accommodated in buildings which do not fall into the above designs. At present, these schools are operating a total of 293 floating classes.
7. We plan to phase out the above floating classes by providing additional classrooms under the School Improvement Programme and by building new schools. Please see details in paragraph 8 below.
8. To eliminate floating classes at Secondary 1 to 5 by the year 2000, we will:
- provide about 170 additional classrooms for 48 schools under the School Improvement Programme by 1998;
- reorganise the class structure of a number of schools from 1998-99 where the building of additional classrooms is not feasible. This will reduce 189 operating classes in 91 schools, (including 10 schools mentioned in paragraph 8(a) above); and
- build 8 additional secondary schools by the year 2000. This will provide a total of 208 additional classrooms to meet consequential demand arising from 8(b) above.
1 -- Secondary school buildings can broadly be categorized into 3 different designs : old standard design schools have 24 classrooms and 12 special rooms; new standard design schools (introduced in the 1990's) have 26 classrooms and 14 special rooms; and schools which do not fall within the above designs.
Last Updated on 14 August 1998