Additional Math Classes For Teenagers to Be Implemented
Starting next week, all teenagers throughout the UK will be asked to take mandatory additional math classes every week. This is in keeping with the UK’s desire to match the scores of educational counterparts in the east such as China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea. All schools throughout the UK are being asked to ensure that these additional math sessions are at least 40 minutes long.
This is not to be taught just per grade level but per age group which is how international tests select their students. The curriculum will include but not be limited to ratio, proportion and rate change. All students aged 14 to 16 will be made to take these mandatory extra courses on mathematics. Part of the stringent curriculum of these classes are going to be taken from the revised GSCE preparation plans which were supposedly to launch in 2015 which aim to teach kids formulae by heart.
Another aspect of the added math program is that it is going to employ more real-life problems such as economics word problems, problems having to do with basic statistics and problems which involve money and practical situations. The announcement which came out earlier this week said that this added math program is going to be an effort to expand, widen and deepen the youth’s understanding of arithmetic and why it’s important. The committee that came up with the program says that one of their biggest aims is to be able to match the standards set by their eastern counterparts: something that can only be done if they employ the same standards of discipline. Although they admit that these classes may take getting used to as it is much faster-paced than typical math classes, they believe that it’s for the best of the teenagers.
The members of the committee go on to stress that while the minimum is set at 40 minutes, they encourage schools and faculty to try and increase this as even with this minimum, the students throughout the UK still lag behind their eastern counterparts. An average of 138 to 145 hours of Math Lessons a year for Singapore, China, Hong Kong and South Korea has been the biggest seen factor to their acing the international exams held last April.
In the entire UK, an average of only 116 hours are devoted to math. Australia also bested the UK in the international tests with an average of 143 hours of Math Lessons per year. Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister says that this new program will definitely put UK kids in the running to compete with their far eastern counterparts. She says that this is a crucial step in achieving the excellence which the GSCEs aspire toward. Professor Michael Sterling, a former teacher at Birmingham University says that this new curriculum is going to mean great things for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) students. One of the biggest problems with recent STEM students he points out, is their inability to perform and fathom manual math: something which presents greater problems in the future with regard to acceptance into higher education as well as finding means of employment.
After a few months of implementing these classes, similar classes will be considered for Chemistry, Physics and other important STEM subjects. A separate study conducted by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) showed that where UK does succeed with regard to the STEM curriculum, they do so only in the private education sector. These new additional lessons might well be the way through which the UK’s public education system is able to thrive and flourish.