Maths is hard.
Under a new plan being considered by the NSW government, maths would become a compulsory subject for all year 11 and 12 students.
At present, mathematics is compulsory for all students up to year ten, but is optional beyond that.
Under the new scheme, all students in all grades would be required to study maths, but unlike English, it wouldn’t be a mandatory subject for students to sit their final exams and obtain their Higher School Certificate.
But whist the move is being praised by education experts, there are concerns that there isn’t enough qualified maths teachers going around.
Think back to when you were in high school, how old was your maths teacher?
There’s been a wild statistic thrown around in recent years that the average age of a high school maths teacher in NSW was over 60, but that is likely just a made up stat (made up by someone who didn’t have a proper maths teacher no doubt).
The fact of the matter is that mathematics teachers are a dying breed.
So even if the government makes the change, there is still going to be a shortage of mathematics teachers for the foreseeable future, and these additional maths classes will no doubt be taught by other teachers who are under qualified to teach year 12 mathematics.
This year, almost a quarter of HSC students chose not to take maths, but the mandatory study would be very different to the current offering, with a greater emphasis on numeracy applicable to everyday life including budgeting and account keeping.