During this week, the Grade 12 learners wrote the first papers in Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy and Technical Mathematics as part of the Mid-Year Matric Examinations. The introduction of Mathematical Literacy in the Basic Education Sector has made huge strides in ensuring that every learner, irrespective of an academic stream, exits the education system with somewhat basic mathematical knowledge. However, as compared to Mathematics and Technical Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy presents a different dimension to learners.
Chief Education Specialist for Mathematics, Mr Leonard Mudau, said that, “Mathematical Literacy was introduced in Grade 10 in 2015 to equip learners with a set of skills that transcends both the mathematical content used in solving problems and the context in which such problems are situated. Maths Literacy assists learners to develop the ability to devise and apply both mathematical and non-mathematical techniques and considerations in order to explore and make sense of any context. It is very critical therefore for every citizen to have knowledge of the Mathematical Literacy curriculum”.
“For instance, the subject affords learners an opportunity to learn how to complete tax return forms, to analyse bills, to decipher directions and master driving speed calculations to become road-rules-abiding citizens. Through Maths Literacy, learners are informed about several financial planning aspects including insurance policies; retirement annuities; pension funds and funeral plans,” substantiated Mr Mudau. Mr Mudau further highlighted: “Technical Mathematics was introduced in Grade 10 in 2016 to serve as an enabler to technology subjects such as Civil Technology, Electrical Technology, Mechanical Technology and Engineering Graphics and Design; in other words, it grooms learners to become artisans. However, some universities are also envisaging that those learners will pursue engineering degrees”.
“Meanwhile Mathematics is a language that makes use of symbols and notations for describing numerical, geometric and graphical relationships. It prepares learners for engineering, medical and mathematical sciences careers. It helps to develop mental processes that enhance logical and critical thinking, accuracy and problem solving that will contribute in the decision-making context,” added Mr Mudau.