Maths teaching just doesn’t add up

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From Mr Anthony Smouha.

Sir, I agree with Merryn Somerset Webb that “Financial savvy is not something schools can teach” (Comment, September 3), but also believe that she complicates the remedy. When I was at school, until the age of 15 or “O” levels, mathematics was divided between arithmetic, algebra and geometry. It was only for “A” levels that it became pure maths and applied maths.

I contend that mental arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) without the use of a calculator and some notion of algebra, for an understanding of compounding, is all the maths that is needed to be financially astute.

Anthony Smouha, Conches, Switzerland

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