Letter: Maths counts

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is bad enough that society should regard innumeracy as an acceptable failing, but it appals me that this prejudice against mathematics is apparently shared by those who train the teachers of tomorrow ("Trainee teachers told to snub maths tests", 25 October).

Would they complain so loudly about tests of English and literacy? I suspect not.

Worse yet, the attitude of university teacher trainers only encourages their students to perpetuate the belief that mathematics is an optional skill. Even the Chief Inspector of Schools is complicit, as the recent "half of three-quarters" debacle demonstrates.

In a world dominated by science and technology, mathematics is not an optional extra. If we deny our children the right to be literate in the very language of science and engineering, we condemn them to be second- class citizens in the 21st century.

Dr DAVID HARPER

Cambridge

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