Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION - Rick Lee - re­gional ed­i­tor

THERE has been a lot of fo­cus on get­ting chil­dren, es­pe­cially girls, to study sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, eco­nomics and maths, but fig­ures show the mes­sage is not hit­ting the mark. En­rol­ments in ad­vanced math­e­mat­ics have dropped 9 per cent since 2006 in Aus­tralia, the Aus­tralian Math­e­mat­i­cal Sci­ences In­sti­tute says. And only 6.9 per cent of Year 12 girls stud­ied ad­vanced math­e­mat­ics com­pared to 12.6 per cent of boys. The par­tic­i­pa­tion rate has con­tin­ued to de­cline for the past 30 years. “With­out im­me­di­ate ac­tion, a deep­en­ing math­e­mat­i­cal skills gap will put the brakes on in­dus­try in­no­va­tion in Aus­tralia,” AMSI di­rec­tor Ge­off Prince said. “There is still a per­va­sive mes­sage that girls don’t study maths. Much more needs to be done to re­write this nar­ra­tive and en­cour­age girls to pur­sue high-level math­e­mat­ics in Year 12 and be­yond.” We have been told it is the way of the fu­ture and a ba­sis for a suc­cess­ful ca­reer. Time to start talk­ing to your chil­dren.

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