A national study of the state of public schools by the Education Ministry, the first of its kind, reveals that students often have a tough time hearing what the teachers are saying.
Some 19 percent of students in the upper grades (ages 11-16) responded that they can either never hear the teacher or at least find it nearly impossible.
Among younger students aged six to ten, over half say it is often hard to hear.
“In the early grades, there needs to be a strong focus on classroom management and rules for when and how loud you can speak,” Mette With Hagesen, the head of parent/teacher group Skole og Forældre, told DR Nyheder.
“It is a little disturbing that so many children are enduring noisy conditions.”
Hagesen said that work was being done to reduced classroom noise, but more needed to be done.
“We need to do more,” she said. “Students are still noticing the problem.”
Students need to be part of the solution
Miranda Wernay Dagsson, the chair of student group Danske Skoleelever, said the problem of noisy classrooms needs to be addressed.
“If over half the students have difficulty hearing what the teacher says, action needs to be taken quickly,” Dagsson told DR Nyheder.
Dagsson did not lay responsibility for classroom management entirely at the feet of the teachers
“Teachers are responsible for teaching, but they can only take responsibility in collaboration with the students,” she said. “We students must agree to take school seriously.”
Another concern expressed by students was that teachers are often late for class. Over half of those polled said that teachers were often tardy.
Only 15 percent of the students responded that teachers always showed up on time. Some 30 percent said that teachers were ‘occasionally’ on time, 10 percent ‘rarely’, while 2 percent said that their teachers were ‘never’ on time.
Enhedslisten blamed teacher tardiness on the recent school reforms
“School reform was built on the backs of teacher preparation time, and that is why teachers are often late, because they have no time to prepare,” Enhedslisten’s schools spokesperson Rosa Lund told Politiken.
Dagsson said that teachers showing up late contributes to the unrest in classrooms.
“When teachers are late there is a higher risk of anxiety and bullying in the classroom,” Dagsson told TV2 News.
The aim of the first national measurement of satisfaction at the public schools is to provide municipalities, schools and teachers with feedback so they can better target their efforts and make improvements where needed.
Nearly 500,000 students were polled and, in spite of the concerns, the results in general painted a positive picture of school life.