Maths crisis? There is no Maths crisis

As ever, I am bemused by the so-called "crisis" in Maths and Science education in 2nd level schools. Amused because nothing whatsoever is done to a) encourage more students to take more advanced level courses and b) to help weaker students to reach a better standard.

What is even more laughable are the "suggestions" to encourage and reward better Maths results. Offer more points? That provides an incentive that will last for all of one month after the Leaving Cert results come out.

What about offering Civil Service training roles for people with excellent results in Maths or Science? Or perhaps scholarships for people with A1 results? Even bursaries? Not a sign of this. In fact any suggestion that would provide lasting benefit beyond a few weeks after the leaving or only in certain careers or circumstances is strangely missing.

The reason I say all this is that I took higher level Maths back in the days when it was well-nigh impossible, and mangaged to come out with an A grade. Did it do anything for me? Not a whit. In fact its never stood to me one bit. It went to way towards mitigating against the fact that my primary degree specialised in Musicology which in Ireland is like admitting that you've got the plague - all kinds of prejudices and assumptions come out, from an assumption that you must have been academically awful (not so - I'd the points for Medicine) or that because you are "creative" you are therefore "tempremental."

When a proper reward comes out for taking and doing well in Maths, we will see students rise to the challenge. Until then, enough said.


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