Angela Harrison (Education correspondent of the BBC News) reports that a recent study shows that maths skills add up to higher earnings. The British government-funded studywas carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
While the study was conducted in England where the government is overhauling the maths curriculum at primary school it is not country or culture specific and is as relevant in South Africa as it is in any other country. It is unlikely that maths education in South Africa is going to have the same government, and more especially, teacher focus in the short term so it is even more important that parents take responsibility for their childrens’ maths education.
How well children do at school and early reading skills are already widely known to be linked to higher earnings. Now researchers claim there is an especially strong link between early maths skills and future pay. They found that children who were good at maths at 10 years old went on to earn as much as 7% more at the age of 30 than an ‘otherwise identical’ child
Poor numeracy skills can and do affect your whole life.
One of the authors, Claire Crawford, said that their research showed that maths skills developed during primary school continue to matter for earnings 20-30 years down the line. Moreover, the maths skills seem to matter more than reading skills, and over and above the qualifications that young people go on to obtain. This highlights the importance of investing in skills, particularly maths skills, early.
The study’s authors said they did not know why this was the case, but suggested employers seemed to value maths skills and were willing to reward them with higher wages.
Give your kids the gift of a great maths foundation.
Author: Cheryl Carter