Parenting

Majority of 8-graders can't solve basic math problems

7th Jan '2017 views3 mins read

November 19, 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Introduction

In 2015, India witnessed the passing of a law that stated that no student will fail in their education curve until they reach 8th grade. While this news was largely positive in 2018, however, it also had a different story to tell – the majority of 8th-grade students in India cannot solve even basic math problems!

In the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), NGO Pratham found that there has been a drop in the math learning curve in the past few years wherein a striking-

  • 56% of 8th-grade students couldn’t divide a triple-digit number with a single-digit number
  • 72% of 5th-grade students could not perform simple division at all.
  • 70% of 2nd-grade students could not comprehend mathematical problems involving subtraction.

The main reason for these statistics can be attributed to the fact that math is not taught in a way that it should be at schools. Schools usually follow a broadcast form for teaching, wherein one teacher has to cater to the learning needs of an entire class of students.

Children not getting enough sleep

Learning needs to differ from student to student and this faulty system results in some children not grasping math concepts as effectively as others in the classroom. The education system in India includes more of rote learning.

We need to eradicate rote learning from the schools at all levels and help students to understand the concepts better. Also, the education system in India should be changed to personalized education. Some students have faster learning pace and some are slow. Teachers must have a keen eye on observing each of their students.


Cuemath Methodology

We at Cuemath, understand the fact that every child is different and has a different learning curve. Our teachers are trained to match up to your child’s learning pace, allowing them to understand mathematical concepts as life skills that can be applied rather than as a subject.

Our beyond school math learning program helps your child understand the WHY behind the WHAT of math concepts, cueing them to reach logical-mathematical solutions on their own.

In the Indian education system, a child completing their 2nd grade is expected to be able to read simple text and perform basic math operations such as subtraction. Though there has been a gradual increase in the percentage of students achieving this outcome, the absolute number is still just a quarter of the overall number of students.

Not only is it appalling to see such stats despite the Right to Education Act, but the numbers also get worse as one progresses to higher levels in their education.

On comparing data sets from 2014 and 2018 the percentage of students who can solve basic numerical division problems in different grades showed a positive increase in the lower grades, but by the 8th grade, the number fell from 44.1% in 2014 to 43.9% in 2018.


Conclusion

By grade VIII, at age 14, the percentage of children able to read a grade II text, suitable for seven- to eight-year-olds (73%) or who can do division (44%) remains far from 100% and showing little improvement over a 10-year period.

This suggests over a quarter of children lack the basic reading skills, and over half lack the basic numeracy skills thought necessary in their last year of compulsory schooling.

Their lack of of foundational math and literacy skills is further emphasised when applied to real-life scenarios such as calculating time or financial decision-making.

Math anxiety is real and can affect people throughout their life

© Illustration by Yann Kebbi
 

No more than 47% of 14- to 16-year-olds were able to correctly answer a time-calculation question, while just 29.6% were able to figure out the price of a t-shirt after a 10% discount is applied, highlighting how many children are leaving school without the basic skills required in adult life.


About Cuemath

Cuemath, student-friendly mathematics and coding platform, conducts regular Online Live Classes for academics and skill-development, and their Mental Math App, on both iOS and Android, is a one-stop solution for kids to develop multiple skills.

Check out the fee structure for all grades and book a trial class today!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How is the state of education in India?

While quantitatively India is inching closer to universal education, the quality of its education has been questioned particularly in its government-run school system.

2. What are the statistics presented in the Annual Status of Education Report(ASER) conducted by NGO Pratham?

In the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), NGO Pratham found that there has been a drop in the math learning curve in the past few years wherein a striking-

  • 56% of 8th-grade students couldn’t divide a triple-digit number with a single-digit number
  • 72% of 5th-grade students could not perform simple division at all.
  • 70% of 2nd-grade students could not comprehend mathematical problems involving subtraction.

External References


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