# No loose math propellors, please

By Murray Bourne, 28 Jan 2006

An article in the Dutch site, *FontysOnline* (the article has disappeared, unfortunately), bemoans the plans of the Dutch government to reduce the number of math hours in schools by 30%. The aim, as far as I can work out, is to allow students to choose either a social science subject ("nature, life and technique") or "deepening maths".

The Babelfish translation of the Fontys article is quite delightful:

## Chamber wants than less hours maths earlier more

Per august 2007 the minister wants bring back the number of maths to obligatory hours maths with thirty per cent and the profession from Higher General Secondary Education - examination profile culture & society to obtain.

The article leader has:

The House of Commons does not want that Higher General Secondary Education - and vwo-leerlingen the coming years less hours wiskundeles to get. With that are the reform plans of minister Van of the to have on

loose propellerscome stand.

Reader Gerrad Beukema responds:

Since the number of hours maths will become in any case less than now, the level of the students will become also not higher. That means that the problems which there are now with the knowledge and skills of all first-year students, and which is really dramatic, such as becomes clear from all kinds of entrance tests, only will increase. The tij in the short term to turn couple I that Fontys bijspijkercursus develop maths, with which the everyone, but particularly first of Fontys is, online/its wiskundekennis and - skills can improve.

He then goes on to recommend a few math sites including my Interactive Mathematics.

Seems that mathematics education is facing similar issues worldwide. I can understand the motivations and concerns of both sides of the Dutch debate.

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