A quarter of adult Brits weak at doing sums

March 3rd, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by admin  


London, March 3 (ANI): Over one-fourth of the British adults find it difficult to calculate the total price of the goods they shop, while a fifth just do not know that eight is the square root of 64.

These are the findings of a new survey that accountancy firm KPMG carried out to determine how skilful Brits are at mental arithmetic.

Forty-seven per cent of the adults surveyed said that they wished they had studied more maths at school.

While 34 per cent of the women participants said that they had troubled working out sums in their heads, 18 per cent of men reported the same trouble.

The results also showed that 51 per cent mothers struggled to help their children with their maths homework as compared to 39 per cent of fathers.

One-fifth of the participants aged between 25 to 34 said that they could have move further in their careers had they had greater ability in maths.

The YouGov survey of 2,006 adults also revealed that difficulties with maths spread across social classes and ages.

Only 25 per cent of the participants from the top social groups said that that they felt uncomfortable in shops some or most of the time, compared to 32 per cent of those from the lower social groups.

People aged 55 and over were found to be the most confident (77 per cent), while those aged between 25 to 34 were the least confident (64 per cent).

People in Scotland were the most confident lot (77 per cent), while London appeared to be the region with the least number of persons confident about their mathematical skills (69 per cent).

When the surveyors asked the subjects to tell what is the square root of 64, 21 per cent either did not know or got the answer wrong.

The survey was conducted at the instance of the Every Child Counts campaign, which the Government launched with the help of charities last year to help to overcome innumeracy in children.

John Griffith-Jones, chairman of the Every Child a Chance charity, said that the secret to combating adult innumeracy was to lay solid mathematical foundations among the young.

Adult innumeracy is one of the greatest scourges facing the country. The survey shows how essential it is that the business community gets involved in tackling the problem. Through the Every Child Counts programme we aim to find a long-term solution, spearheading resources of specially trained teachers to help the seven-year-olds who have the greatest difficulties, Times Online quoted him as saying. (ANI)

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