Learning to see through the numerical distortions

17th October 1997 at 01:00
It would help Tony Gardiner (Maths Extra, October 3) in his quest for "What is numeracy?" to visit any adult basic skills class, stocked with people who have been failed by the education system.

Numeracy for them is checking their dole money is correct, and learning how to make it stretch through the week. It will also involve the skills which enable students to apply for, and hold down a job.

What we need more than ever in school numeracy curricula is relevance to the outside world, and a strategy what ensures people can live independent lives. This approach should obviously include instruction in how to see through the numerical distortions perpetrated by successive governments on unemployment figures and job-seekers initiatives.

KEITH MATON 14 St Andrews Avenue Sudbury Wembley Middlesex

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