In India, math is seen as a way to make the most of kids’ limited resources.
In India’s poorest states, the number of children attending primary school has declined by nearly 20 percent over the last decade, according to a new study by a University of Michigan-based think tank.
The problem is not limited to India, where the median income has fallen by more than 30 percent over that time.
A lack of math resources has been a huge challenge for India’s youth.
For example, while India has one of the world’s highest literacy rates, just 16 percent of children in India are able to read at grade level.
“The main issue with India’s math challenges is that they’re not well understood by children,” says Nandan Nilekani, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland and one of several experts who have been studying the issue.
“In India, we know that math is really hard.
But we don’t really know what’s going on with it.”
“We don’t know what is happening in terms of math education in India.”
Math, it turns out, is actually a relatively recent development.
In the early 20th century, the United States was the world leader in math education.
“There was no country in the world that was developing this technology,” says Nilekini.
“We were a very advanced nation and there was no place that was even trying to create this technology.”
By the time World War I broke out in 1914, the U.S. had more math teachers per capita than all other countries combined.
By World War II, though, the country’s educational system was woefully behind.
“When we look at how we went from the 1950s to the 1960s, we’re in a really bad situation,” says Seth Lipsky, a former U.N. under-secretary-general and author of Maths Are Not for Everyone.
“So, what happened was that we put a lot of emphasis on science and math, but we forgot about the social aspect of learning.
That was an opportunity for us to really get back into the world of social science.”
It’s not just the math skills that are lacking.
In a 2015 report, the World Bank’s Development Research Institute said that India’s “underperforming” primary education system “has led to the country having low literacy rates and higher rates of under-achievement in all aspects of life, including education.”
In addition, a 2015 study from the University in India’s Economic Policy Research Institute found that math teachers in India have higher salaries than their counterparts in other developing countries.
And when the International Mathematical Union launched its annual World Mathematical Olympiad in India last year, the organization was met with widespread criticism, with some of the nation’s top mathematicians calling for the country to boycott the competition.
“These issues are not limited in India,” says Lipski.
“They’re all part of the broader global challenge.”
The problem isn’t limited to the education system either.
According to Lipska, it’s also been a struggle for India to produce good science and mathematics teachers.
In 2012, the Indian government introduced a national minimum salary for math teachers and for science teachers, which is significantly lower than the international norm.
“That’s why we’ve got the problem with math teachers.
They’re not getting paid as much as they should be,” Lipskaya says.
And the problems with math education go beyond the numbers.
“It’s also a problem with teachers who don’t have access to computers,” says Clive Dickson, a professor of math and science education at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and author, The Math of India.
“I think the math education system in India is so poor that if you are not able to afford a computer, you’re not going to be able to get it.
I don’t think that’s the whole problem, but it’s definitely part of it.” “
But I think this is a much bigger problem for India because we have this problem with teaching math.
I don’t think that’s the whole problem, but it’s definitely part of it.”
While Lipsk and Dickson agree that the Indian math education needs improvement, they believe there are a number of things that can be done.
“If we’re not making a conscious effort to increase access to the Internet, if we’re making a deliberate effort to improve math education, I think we’ll see a significant improvement in India in terms a student’s math skills,” says Dickson.
“This is a huge opportunity to really take advantage of it.
I think the big problem right now is the math that we don�t have access in India.
We can use technology and new education models, but the math is just not being utilized.”
The other big challenge, Dickson says, is the lack of high school mathematics courses.
“High school math is still not an integrated part of Indian society,” he says.
“You can’t go into any of the schools and learn to play a game.
There is no computer