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Premier strengthens maths in schools

Published 15th October, 2018

The number of students studying maths in the final years of school will be boosted, with specialist teachers recruited to ensure students are equipped with important life skills and prepared for the STEM jobs of the future, under a bold new mathematics strategy launched by the NSW Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes today launched the strategy that will equip young people with the skills they need to thrive after they leave school.

“We have done well to encourage students to study maths, with about 82 per cent currently taking up maths-based subjects in their HSC,” Ms Berejiklian said. “With today’s announcement, we hope to see this number get closer to 100 per cent.  

“I am a passionate believer that education is the great enabler – I, like many others, am living proof of that.  

“I am also a passionate believer that we need to do everything we can to prepare our students for a stronger, better future.  

“My vision is for every child in NSW to have the necessary maths skills to succeed in life – whether that’s managing home budgets or preparing them for the high tech jobs that will be on offer in coming years.”

The new strategy will include:

  • A new mathematics-based HSC course for students who have not typically chosen to study maths, focusing on numeracy and practical applications for everyday life. The course will be piloted from next year;
  • Recruitment of 100 new specialist maths teachers for primary schools over the next five years;
  • 320 scholarships valued at $50,000 each for STEM undergraduates and career changers to fund the cost of a Master’s degree;
  • Work with universities to further incentivise students to take higher level HSC maths courses; and
  • Introduction of more Maths Ambassadors, building on the success of current NSW Maths Ambassador Eddie Woo, to encourage students to develop a love for maths.

Mr Stokes said it is important for all students to feel confident with maths and numbers by the time they leave school so they are set up for success in whatever career they choose.

“Everyone can be good at maths with the right support, encouragement and hard work,” Mr Stokes said.  

“I want more students to develop an early interest in maths so that they are able to participate in more advanced mathematics subjects in the later years of schooling.  

“Our maths teachers all around NSW do a brilliant job of inspiring students to improve their mathematical literacy from kindergarten all the way through to the HSC.”

Award-winning maths teacher Eddie Woo, who was earlier this year appointed a NSW Maths Ambassador, welcomed the announcement. 

“I am so delighted that the Premier and Minister share my passion for maths,” Mr Woo said.

“Maths is an integral part of all of our lives and I am confident more students will be inspired to study it with a little bit of encouragement and guidance from passionate ambassadors and teachers.” 

Published 15th October, 2018
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