UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak today delivered a speech on Britain’s ‘anti-math mindset’. During his speech, he made a vow to make poor numeracy culturally unacceptable.
Mr Sunak in his address said that it should not be socially acceptable to joke about being bad at Maths. He shared that Maths is one of the most popular subjects at A level but there are people who are not learning enough. He said that there is an attitude problem.
Sharing an anecdote, Mr Sunak shared that he told his daughters that he wanted to make the case for more maths. He shared that his daughters were not keen.
He emphasized, “We make jokes about not being able to do maths. It’s socially acceptable. We say things like, ‘oh maths, I can’t do that, it’s not for me’ and everyone laughs. But we’d never make a joke like that about not being able to read. So we’ve got to change this anti-maths mindset.”
Further in the speech, Mr Sunak stressed that not every pupil should have to study maths to A level standard. He said that he is setting up an advisory committee to suggest how pupils should learn more maths.
“A new advisory group, comprising mathematicians, education leaders and business representatives, will be established to advise the government on the core maths content that students need to succeed in future. Taking evidence from countries which have high rates of numeracy and from employers across the country, the group will also advise on whether a new maths qualification is required for 16-18-year-olds,” Mr Sunak said.
While answering questions, he shared that the government wants to give teachers the confidence to teach maths at primary schools. “If we get this right, we will do something really special for our young people. It will be setting them up for success.”