NSW students will be forced to do maths in their Year 12 HSC exams to improve career prospects
| Last updated
9News reports the new maths syllabus will be introduced in 2025 and will be compulsory for Year 11 and 12 students.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchel said the HSC class of 2026 will be the first cohort to have the compulsory maths syllabus implemented, as per the Daily Telegraph.
As the math curriculum is four years ahead, it will give teachers enough time to prepare their students, from year eight onwards, to sit the HSC maths exam.
“Maths helps develop skills for life, providing students with fundamental skills in problem-solving, analysis and reasoning that are essential no matter what career they choose,” she said as per the Daily Telegraph.
In 2019, a change to the school’s curriculum was first announced by the then-premier Gladys Berejiklian.
In a press release, the then-NSW Premier said she wanted to ensure children had numeracy skills to ‘succeed’ in today’s society, which she believes is declining.
She said: “We promised to take the curriculum back to the basics and today we are taking the first steps to deliver on that commitment by prioritising maths.
“NSW to have the necessary maths skills to succeed in life, whether that’s managing home budgets or preparing them for the jobs of the future in science, technology and engineering.”
Minister Mitchell also said at the time: “Parents have a reasonable expectation that their children are mathematically literate when they finish school in Year 12.
“The interim report on the Curriculum Review has indicated that it is time for significant changes and we want maths to be a part of that.”
According to Daily Mail, almost one-quarter of students in 2019 had opted not to take on maths during Year 12.
While speaking with The Sydney Morning Herald, Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of NSW Kim Beswick said she was concerned with the dwindling numbers, particularly amongst females.
She said: “There’s research that says that students don’t choose maths because they judge it to be too difficult and that it will take too much of their time in HSC.
"They also lack confidence in their ability to succeed in maths.
“So they make a calculation that in terms of the time and effort it’s going to take, it’s really just not worth it and they can have a less stressful HSC and get a better ATAR by not doing it.”