Over half of parents fail to explain importance of maths to their children

Over half of parents fail to explain importance of maths to their children

14 February 2011 at 00:00
55% of Leaving Certificate students surveyed by Engineers Ireland said that their parents have never explained the everyday importance of mathematics to them, according to an Engineers Ireland survey ahead of Engineers Week 2011 (www.engineersweek.ie), which begins on Monday 14th February and runs until Sunday, February 20.
 
Indicating that the quality of maths understanding amongst Irish students would once again be a key feature of Engineers Week, John Power, Director General of Engineers Ireland, pointed to the role parents could play in this respect.  “It is so important parents impress upon their children the importance of maths from an early age.  So it’s disquieting that our survey indicates that over half the parents of the secondary level students we surveyed have never done this.  Maths is the bedrock upon which a career in engineering is based but its relevance spans way beyond just the discipline of engineering.  An understanding of maths is vital to help the young develop basic problem-solving skills, the competence to budget money as well as time management skills.” 
 
“Perhaps parents’ reluctance to help their children grasp the fundamentals of maths is to do with how parents perceive the subject based on their own experiences with the subject in school.  Nonetheless, parents shouldn’t underestimate the role they have to play in engaging children in mathematical thinking and problem solving at a young age through game playing and activities.”
 
Engineers Week 2011 will begin with a seminar, ‘Focus on future technologies’, tomorrow, Monday, February 14, at 9 am, and will focus on the information and communication technologies needed to meet the future vision of modern, efficient and dynamic societies.  There will also be an emphasis on transport infrastructure and a presentation, ‘Dublin’s Integrated Ticketing Scheme – the implementation challenges’, by Tim Gaston, Railway Procurement Agency.
 
Engineers Week runs from February 14 to February 20 (see details below).  Nearly 150 events will take place nationwide over the course of the week.  To find out more information about events taking place near you or to register your attendance log onto www.engineersweek.ie.