Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Ayse Kaya Orloff


Education reform should be strategically implemented to reduce the magnitude of childhood inequalities reflected in SDG 4. Within this broad topic, this study seeks to understand the relationship between the pupil-teacher ratio of a classroom and student exam performance across South Africa and India. The current literature reveals that targeted education reform improves student cognition. However, there is dissent around the impact of classroom size on student achievement. This study quantitatively compares Higher Secondary School Examination pass rates between four districts within Mumbai, India, and Matriculation Examination pass rates between four schools within KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Categorical data analyses were run to determine if the difference in pass rates between the districts or schools is significant. A case analysis of each country reveals that secondary school students across Mumbai and KwaZulu Natal benefit from learning in classrooms with lower pupil-teacher ratios. This study does not produce causal or fully externalizable results, and limiting factors are illuminated through conversations with non-governmental organizations across both countries.


Education, Pedagogical, South Africa, India, Reform, Education Reform, Classroom Size, Pupil-Teacher Ratio



Date Posted: 24 May 2023


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.