|Dr. Joseph N.
B.Sc.(Malta), Ph.D.(Exon), M.Inst.P., C.Phys., MRACI, C.Chem.
Hon. Fellow (University of Exeter, UK)
Chartered Chemist & Physicist
Lecturer in Chemistry (University of Malta)
Schools are expected to provide, among other things,
skills in numeracy and literacy to pupils who may not have uniform abilities
and aptitudes. School curricula change over time in response to changes
in perceived needs and desired educational outcomes. This paper looks into
the mathematical preparation of Maltese students in today’s schools and
considers how this is presently affecting an important minority of pupils,
namely, those who will eventually pursue studies at university level reading
for a degree in the sciences or in education with a science special subject.
It suggests that school children may not be sufficiently aware of the strong
link between science and mathematics. It asks whether the current
secondary and post-secondary school mathematics curriculum is providing
appropriate preparation to allow students in science and science-related
degrees to take on and successfully complete their studies. It is argued
that the differentiated examining mode available at secondary education
certificate (SEC) level may be seriously aggravating the problem of inadequate
exposure at this level to critical and sufficient mathematics. The situation
appears to call for remedy and difficulties in addressing the problem are
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