It seems the UK is taking things seriously when it comes to teaching mathematics. Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, says Britain has an "anti-maths mindset" that is hindering numeracy development. As part of his plan to urge the country to value this crucial school subject, Sunak intends to make math education compulsory for students until the age of 18.
A failure to consider numeracy a skill as basic as reading may be very expensive to the UK economy. "We've got to change this anti-maths mindset. We've got to start prizing numeracy for what it is – a key skill every bit as essential as reading. ... I won't sit back and allow this cultural sense that it's OK to be bad at maths to put our children at a disadvantage," declared Sunak in the brief of an upcoming speech announced by the Prime Minister Office.
In a previous speech last January, Sunak laid out his plans to make this school discipline compulsory until 18 instead of 16, which is currently the standard requirement. But not everyone accepts that so easily. Various critics and opposition parties argue that such a promise is meaningless without a coherent program and more funds to hire and train more specialized teachers.
Statistics show that, in the UK, more than 8 million adults have math skills below those expected at school for a child of nine, which keeps the United Kingdom below average in numeracy among industrialised countries. However, the government acknowledges that such changes will take time and that recruiting and training math teachers is indeed a priority.
Picture: Arcanys Early Learning Foundation