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Sunday, 4 March 2012

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Students' maths skills to be improved

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said the proposed program to encourage schoolchildren to memorise multiplication tables from the first to the 15th will be made compulsory from this year.

According to a survey conducted by school principals, teachers and educationalists, a majority of children are in the habit of using calculators or even mobile phone calculators to work out simple mathematical problems.

The survey also revealed that children never try to work out sums from memory.

Minister Gunawardane told the Sunday Observer that this situation should be changed and that a program will be implemented to encourage children to memorise the multiplication table.

He said memorising the multiplication tables will help students who want to follow mathematics-related higher education courses such as Science, Engineering, Information Technology, Commerce and Economics.

The Minister said it is compulsory for schoolchildren in neighbouring India to memorise the multiplication table.

The Minister also urged teachers and parents to encourage children to memorise the multiplication table without encouraging them to use calculators.

The Education Minister also remarked over the proposed 1,000 secondary schools development program and said more teachers will be recruited to these schools to teach Mathematics.

A principal of a leading school in Colombo said this proposed program is vital and will discourage children from using calculators.

He said due to the lack of knowledge on multiplication tables even among university children in the country, calculators are permitted at some examinations.

He said as an initial step in this novel program, the Department should direct schoolchildren to refrain from bringing calculators to schools.

 

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