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Can someone explain how の is being used in the following sentence? It seems to be used as a conjunction to me, but I've never seen it used this way.

そう、今では公立でも5年生あたりから英会話を教えるのが当たり前なんだよね。ちなみにうちのクラスの児童は全部で32人。内訳は男子16人の女子16人

(from 小西マサテルによる「名探偵のままでいて」)

I assume the bold sentence means "the class was composed of 16 boys and 16 girls", but I expected the writer to use に instead of の.

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