It’s now time for round two of the World Education Games!
Following on from yesterday’s World Spelling Day, today will see the launch of World Maths Day, an event which will allow students to compete with others from around the world in a series of live games set to challenge their mental arithmetic skills. Once the event is live, students earn points for up to fifty games, with each game lasting approximately one minute. Prizes will be awarded to the top students in each age category: ages 4-7, 8-10, 11-13 and 14-18.
The launch of World Maths Day has coincided with a worrying report from the National Numeracy charity, which raises concerns over numeracy abilities in the UK. Figures from this recent study confirm that poor maths skills are blighting individual’s chances in the workplace, with millions of people struggling to understand a payslip, timetable or even a household bill.
It is estimated that approximately 17 million people – more than half of the adults in the UK – possess a poor understanding of maths. Perhaps most shockingly, the number of innumerate adults in England has increased by 2 million in just 8 years, with most adults possessing the numeracy skills equivalent to that of an 11 year-old.
It is hoped that events such as World Maths Day will challenge a characteristic of the UK mindset which seems to have formed an acceptance towards high rates of poor numeracy in and outside the workplace. A YouGov poll for National Numeracy found that just over half of the surveyors (56%) were embarrassed to confess to poor maths skills. This was a stark contrast to literacy figures, which found that 80% would feel embarrassed to tell someone they were bad at reading and writing.
A spokeswoman from the Department of Education responded to the results of the survey by predicting an overhaul in the current maths curriculum: “We want the vast majority of young people to study maths up to 18 within a decade to meet the growing demand for employees with high-level and intermediate maths skills”.
At Pora Ora, we have sought to create a virtual world that challenges each and every player’s numeracy ability. Within the world children have full access to a range of mathematical games, tailored to the child’s attitude and aligned to the National Curriculum. One of our most popular numeracy games is Number Bugs, a game where players are required to catch butterflies and bees in their net by matching a sum to an answer. Number Bugs seeks to develop the player’s mental arithmetic by testing their ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Such challenges in many respects mirror those created by World Maths Day, seeking to test children’s speed, problem-solving, resilience and enjoyment.
With greater attention focused on children’s numeracy development, (encouraged by teachers, parents and politicians), it is possible that the figures released by the National Numeracy charity could show signs of improvement in future years. By supporting and participating in events such as World Maths Day, such individuals could go one step further to making this possible.
Pora Ora is an interactive, virtual world designed to encourage a love of learning in children. By accessing this world, children are rewarded for completing educational tasks in a range of games and quests, allowing the child to learn in an engaging and immersive format.