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  • Robert MacCulloch

How can NZ ever be a tech hub when one of our weakest subjects is maths?

The education news this past week was dominated by the fact that many Kiwi school children have recorded their worst-ever results in a major international mathematics and science test, called the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.


In other words, the political rhetoric coming from both of our major parties that somehow NZ could become a high wage, tech-based economy is empty. It's official: NZ is weak in mathematics, which is the foundation stone of computer science. The country also cannot afford to buy in top talent in these subjects from abroad.


Unless National and Labour come up with concrete proposals to reverse this decline - which would necessarily need to include paying maths and science teachers large premiums to reflect their scarcity - our economy is highly unlikely ever to be "transformed" in the "tech" direction. And since both parties have already made a decision not to confront the teachers union which is opposed to such pay differences, this topic is pretty much closed.


For sources, see:


https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/432451/nz-students-record-worst-results-in-maths-and-science#:~:text=Their%20maths%20score%20fell%2011,where%20500%20is%20the%20midpoint.&text=Education%20Ministry%20chief%20scientific%20advisor,olds'%20scores%20had%20surprised%20him.

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