The Daily Mail is often enough a rich source of material in which to blog over, it’s ever present the barbarians are at the door coupled with faux morality makes it a splendid source of materiel for those days when a bloggers creative juices are not flowing freely.
And so it is with this article…
Seventeen million adults – nearly half the working population – have the maths skills of a child at primary school, a report revealed yesterday.
Their grasp of numbers is so poor that they struggle to work out deductions on their pay slips or calculate change.
The number who struggle with basic numeracy has grown by two million over the past decade, even though billions of pounds has been poured into schemes to improve standards.
The scale of poor numeracy far exceeds the equivalent figure for poor literacy, which is now five million.
The report, released by a new charity, National Numeracy, found that 49 per cent of working-age adults in England are so bad at maths that they have no more than the skills expected of a nine to 11-year-old and would struggle with graphs and charts.
About half of these adults – a quarter of the working population – have only the abilities expected of a seven to nine-year-old and might struggle to pay household bills.
Thing is though, I’m wondering which half of the working population would struggle with the tests, particularly the test the Daily Mail puts up for us to try…
Because even though the answers are there, I was able without much difficulty to work them out in my head and I’m certainly not the best at maths in my generation. It may be though that I’m reasonably good at mental arithmetic as I grew up in the last generation before calculators and was taught how to use a slide rule in school and technical college. It does strike me though that the school generations of below the age 40 might be the ones struggling here to actually figure out what’s being asked for, either that or my household is unique with two adults living here able to figure out the questions without really trying too hard or getting a pen and paper out in contrast to my visiting step-daughter who is by no means a dunce and had to do just that.
Mind you, according to the Mail the report comes from a charity called National Numeracy, I don’t know whether this is a fake charity or not, though it would appear to have a vested interest in there being lots of people who are innumerate.
Still, if 50% of the adult population are only numerate to the level of a 9 year old, what does that have to say about the standard of education in our schools?
Or aren’t we supposed to make that sort of surmission?