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
The survey also revealed that children never try to work out sums
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
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
He said as an initial step in this novel program, the Department
should direct schoolchildren to refrain from bringing calculators to