Parents starting to grasp importance of maths to children's education

Parents starting to grasp importance of maths to children's education

27 February 2012 at 00:00

Over 93% of parents of Leaving and Junior Certificate students surveyed say they have explained the importance of mathematics to their children, it has been revealed ahead of Engineers Week 2012 (, which begins on Monday 27th February and runs until Sunday, March 4.


Citing the finding as a sign that parents were starting to grasp the importance of the subject to their children’s career prospects, John Power, Director General of Engineers Ireland said Engineers Week 2012 would once again emphasise the criticality of stronger achievement levels in this area in schools. “A similar survey we undertook this last time year indicated that over half the students we asked had not had the long-term relevance of maths explained to them by their parents.  Our survey this year shows an improvement in this respect.  Maths is the platform upon which a career in growing areas like engineering and technology is based.”  


“But with over 4,300 students failing maths across all levels in the latest Leaving Cert exams, we still have a gap to bridge to ensure Ireland can produce workers with the requisite technical skills,” Power added. “Nearly 50% of parents in our survey were still not clear whether their children’s maths teachers had a professional maths qualification.  We need to combine a greater awareness of the importance of maths with better standards and transparency in how the subject is taught in schools to ultimately fill the large amount of job vacancies emerging in the ICT and engineering sectors.  These are the types of themes we will emphasise throughout Engineers Week 2012.”    


Engineers Week 2012 begins tomorrow with the launch by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD of ‘The State of Ireland 2012 – an overview of Ireland’s infrastructure’ report.  Tuesday, February 28 features ‘Wargames Light’, an ethical ‘hackathon’ highlighting security issues for third level technology students while Liam Madden, VP of Xilinx gives this year’s McLaughlin lecture on Moore’s Law on Wednesday February 29.


Minister for Research and Innovation, Se├ín Sherlock TD joins volunteer engineers to impress upon students in schools the importance of maths on Thursday, March 1.  Friday March 2 sees the climax of 120 ‘open day’ organised tours of company plants across Ireland, with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD visiting the Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics plant in Swords.  Saturday March 3 and Sunday March 4 will feature family-oriented engineering events across Ireland to conclude the week.  To find out more information about the events taking place near you, or to register your attendance, log onto