Count Caelan in for Compulsory maths 

MATHS is needed for every aspect of life after school so it should be compulsory says former High School Certificate student Caelan Maxon.

“You need it even just for doing a budget so you know you’re living within your means,” he said. 

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli is considering a recommendation in the state parliamentary economic development committee report which would make mathematics a compulsory subject in every year of schooling.

Orange mathematics tutor Cassie Carslake said it was a necessity because otherwise there may be a point where adults are incapable of performing simple mathematical tasks needed for day to day life such as calculating a sales discount. 

“If it doesn’t become compulsory at some level of senior study we’ll end up with adults still needing to count to 10 on their fingers,” she said. 

“It’s a huge part of life, it’s finances mainly. It’s not a pre-requisite at uni anymore, it’s just recommended.”

Mr Maxon studied general mathematics or “dummy maths” as he called it and said it was not the type of maths which would enable him to become an accountant or statistician, it was the type of maths that would help him save money, work out interest on loans and be able to make the right financial decisions.

“Even just going to uni, you need to know how to work out a budget so you know just how broke you are,” he said. 

The recommendation follows an inquiry into the state’s skills shortage held late last year, which looked at the issues facing industry shortages in areas such as engineering, hospitality and catering.

It also comes after the release of the major international program for international student assessment (PISA) report last month which revealed Australia had slipped from 13th place to 17th place in maths ability among 15 year olds in three years

Mrs Carslake said she could not understand why it was compulsory to study authors such as Jane Austen but it was not compulsory in years 11 and 12 to study some form of basic mathematics. 

“If English is compulsory, and we study Shakespeare, then some form of mathematics should be too.”

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