Readers respond: Why scrapping maths is a bad idea

After reading the recently published Why scrapping maths is a bad idea, here's what Parent24 readers had to say about the possibility of maths losing its longstanding compulsory status. 

They don't care about the quality of our education

Our Government is doing its best to make our country collapse. They don't care about the quality of our education; they only care about the pass rate.

Yes "most" of the students do struggle with maths but that does not mean they don't need maths in their life. 

— Mpenduko 

We are creating our own problems

I support that mathematics be compulsory to have a career in accounting, economics, engineering, medicine etc. Identify the "not so gifted" at the subject early and teach them Maths Literacy.

We also need to replace maths maybe with a subject that stimulates creativity and use that to solve problems as an alternative subject. We are creating our own problems by consistently lowering the standards.

How will future generations solve problems with innovation and creativity in an ever changing and challenging environment?

Parents challenge and support your children to bite off more than they can chew to reach their full potential. Start teaching them to love numbers and solve easy problems to get an affinity for the subject.

You can learn ANYTHING!

- Ian Kuiler

It is unacceptable

This country is crucially short of maths users like engineers & scientists. It is unacceptable that, because their teachers are useless at teaching maths, their pupils should be gated from essential employment.

My own personal bias is that students should be taught statistics; this is, after all, how the world works, anything else is a delusion.

- J.S Cridland

We need to be realistic 

The idea is practical but I believe there is no need to lower the pass marks. What we need to do is re-visit the curriculum in order to prepare learners for life after matric.

Not everyone uses what is being taught in subjects like maths. There is too much time and effort spent on maths. By this I do not mean pure maths or maths should not be taught as it is important, but we need to be realistic.

How often do most grown-ups need geometry and complicated math equations in their day-to-day real life situations?

Why should students not intending to become engineers, scientists, mathematicians or other fields that require pure maths, study pure maths?

What needs to be amended is the content being taught in some subjects and the “two-tier” education system. 

Since the collapse of Apartheid more than twenty years ago, the curriculum and theory have not really changed. The current matric qualification is not good enough to get decent employment. Students lack important skills and training. 

There is an urgent need for curriculum transformation and new vision in the education system in South Africa.

- Mohamed Saeed, Pietermaritzburg

The height of stupidity 

To me scrapping maths is the height of stupidity. Yes I struggled with maths at school but the number of times in a work situation that I have had to call on my high school maths has been numerous. Knowing the principals of a subject is very important. 

- Ian 

Early Childhood Development should be the core focus 

As a Psychometrist who assesses children for career coaching, I find it very sad that Life Orientation does not offer some of the more critical competencies as part of the curriculum.

So many children have a mountain of work in front of them, but no clue how to tackle it.  They are not taught study methodology- how to summarise effectively, do mind maps, mnemonics, etc. 

Bonds, times tables- the foundation of maths literacy is not drummed into children. As a result, although a learner may get the method correct, they get wrong answers due to miscalculations. 

I think teachers are under too much pressure with paperwork for the department that they don't have time to reinforce this.

While I understand that some things need to be reported on, I've seen what these teachers need to report. It's silly and takes up valuable teaching time. 

In my opinion, however much it counts; Early Childhood Development should be the core focus of the Education Department.

We need to get children to grasp problem solving skills early on. This will enable them to think critically when they have to deal with subjects like maths. 

In sum: the government must stop trying to solve problems relatively, and lowering our national intellectual capacity and competence to what could be 'junk status'.  

Stop telling people it is okay to do the minimum. Rather develop a culture and competence of problem solving. Teach kids HOW TO STUDY. 

— Susan Smith, Somerset West

I don't think kids should be forced to do matric maths

In 1964, I dropped maths in standard 9 as I knew I would never pass the subject in matric, and I wanted to go to university. I had a third language, which was the alternative for varsity entrance.

I don't think kids should be forced to do matric maths when they don't have the aptitude...we're all different. However, I do believe that everyone needs the old 3Rs...reading, writing and arithmetic!

Without a good knowledge of these, no one can function in the modern world.

— Deirdre 

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