Global math lit­er­acy

Panay News - - METRO -  By Mary Jean A. Marcelo,

SST III, Este­fa­nia Mon­temayor Na­tional High School, Du­marao, Capiz

WE OF­TEN hear that not many l ove math­e­mat­ics as sub­ject. We also heard that there are those who love math. But what re­ally is the sta­tus of math­e­mat­ics lit­er­acy glob­ally? What is math­e­mat­ics lit­er­acy? Love is a uni­ver­sal lan­guage yes, but will it dic­tate the fate of math?

Math­e­mat­ics lit­er­acy is the ca­pac­ity to iden­tify, un­der­stand and en­gage in math­e­mat­ics and to make well-founded judg­ments about the role that math­e­mat­ics plays, as needed for an in­di­vid­ual’s cur­rent and fu­ture pri­vate life, oc­cu­pa­tional life, so­cial life with peers and rel­a­tives, and life as a con­struc­tive, con­cerned and re­flec­tive cit­i­zen.

I have re­searched and found no con­crete study about the Philip­pines stake in math­e­mat­ics lit­er­acy com­pared to oth­ers like what Aus­tralia did. I feel that this will help shape our to­day’s stu­dents fu­ture. In a study con­ducted in Aus­tralia, Year 4 and Year 8 stu­dents are slip­ping back­wards in maths and sci­ence, leapfrogged by stu­dents in Kaza­khstan, Slove­nia and Hun­gary, as the na­tion con­tin­ues a 20-year tum­ble down in­ter­na­tional aca­demic rank­ings.

The alarm­ing re­sults from the four-yearly Trends in In­ter­nat­ional Math­e­mat­ics and Sci­ence Study sparked calls for Aus­tralia to “wake up,” re­ject short-term fixes, raise the ef­fec­tive­ness of teach­ing, and im­prove re­ten­tion and train­ing of qual­i­fied math teach­ers. Aus­tralia has re­al­ized that the 20-year slide in math learn­ing is a na­tional chal­lenge that ­re­quires a na­tional re­sponse. And they can­not af­ford an­other 20 years of stag­na­tion.

Their an­swer is not to do more of the same. Be­tween one-quar­ter and one-third of stu­dents are not pro­fi­cient enough to ap­ply the ba­sic math knowl­edge they need to nav­i­gate ev­ery­day life and

are in dan­ger of be­ing left be­hind in the global race for jobs of the fu­ture. There is an es­ti­mated 10.2 mil­lion Filipinos abroad, of which it can­not be clar­i­fied as of yet how many are with jobs as per their ca­reer, and how many are just skilled with no for­mal ed­u­ca­tion, and how many are work­ing are math­e­mat­i­cally pro­fi­cient like en­gi­neers, com­puter ex­perts, etc.

The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Eval­u­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tional Achieve­ment (IEA), the longestrun­ning, large- scale in­ter­na­tional as­sess­ment of math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence ed­u­ca­tion in the world, con­ducts yearly study on the Trends in In­ter­na­tional Maths and Sci­ence Study (TIMSS) and re­cently re­leased a study show­ing East Asian coun­tries main­tain­ing their 20-year lead for pupils aged 10 and 14. In the study, Sin­ga­pore, Hong Kong, Korea, Chi­nese Taipei, and Ja­pan con­tinue to dom­i­nate in­ter­na­tional rank­ings for math.

The re­sults showed that to­day’s stu­dents are more en­gaged and con­fi­dent in math com­pared to some of the top- per­form­ing coun­tries. Mas­ter­ing th­ese skills will en­sure there is no limit to a stu­dent’s am­bi­tion and will en­sure our fu­ture work­force has the skills to drive the fu­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity and econ­omy for this coun­try.

From my ex­pe­ri­ence, all world-class ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems around the globe high­lighted to­day have one thing in com­mon – they re­cruit, train and sup­port world- class teach­ers who work col­lab­o­ra­tively to­gether. If we have fel­low Filipino math teach­ers out there who have what it takes to be world-class, I call on you to share your strate­gies and tech­niques. It is time we map out the Philip­pines in the global scene and se­cure the fu­ture of our stu­dents. (

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