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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Scheme set up to aid adult learning

A new initiative to help adults improve their maths skills has been launched with more than 20 organisations coming together for the project.

From now until the end of March, a key partnership of national organisations will support a wide range of activities to raise awareness of the importance of maths as well as tackle some of the challenges in this area. These include:

Developing and promoting maths apps for adults;Training 8,000 Maths Champions to support other adults;Piloting an online numeracy assessment tool;Developing a series of MOOCs (massive open online courses);Producing resources and training for parents, carers and early-years workers;Improving the quality of teaching and learning; andEngaging and enthusing people about the power, enjoyment, and importance of maths.

Speaking about the initiative, Carol Taylor, NIACE director for development and research, said: "One of the seven recommendations from the NIACE- led Inquiry into Numeracy in 2011 was that adults should be able to learn maths in a way that's more relevant to their everyday lives. The Government's Review of English and Maths last year found that far too many adults struggle with maths and many of them find certain maths tasks - from budgeting, to getting the best deal - challenging. As such, a new approach is needed to help adults improve their maths skills. Maths is for all of us; this is why we're taking action on adult maths."

"One of the big problems is that many adults don't think that maths is a part of their everyday lives. People see maths as something very intelligent people 'do', not an essential set of skills for work, family, health and throughout life. We want to engage people through showing how everyone uses maths every day of their lives, that it can be exciting and fun, and that it is not something to be scared of."

Another partner of this initiative is unionlearn; their Union development manager, Judith Swift, said: "Unionlearn is really excited to be a part of the Maths4us initiative. We understand the negative impact that a lack of confidence with numbers has on people's lives.  We do also know that many adults are better at maths than they think - we are dealing with numbers all the time and it's when we hit a problem that confidence goes. 

"We believe that this initiative can bring about a positive change in culture and enable thousands of adults and their families and communities to take more control of their lives through a 'Can Do' attitude to maths. We are aiming to equip our army of union learning reps with the tools and confidence to make a big difference."


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