In order to keep up with the modern age of data and statistics, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak intends to make sure that all children in the United Kingdom will study mathematics in some capacity until they are 18 years old.

What is the state of mathematics education in India, a nation that has a long history of outstanding mathematical accomplishments dating back to the fifth-century astronomer and mathematician Aryabhata, who is known for creating the zero?

In Indian schools, mathematics has always been a required subject for study. Under the direction of Dr. D S Kothari, the Kothari Commission (1966–1966), India’s first attempt to create a coherent national education policy, recommended making mathematics a requirement for students in grades 1–10 as part of general education.

The commission placed a strong emphasis on math and science education because it believed that scientists were better equipped to address India’s developmental needs.

The second National Education Policy, released in 1986, maintained the same philosophy and viewed mathematics as a means of teaching kids how to reason, analyse, and express themselves logically.

Math continues to be a required subject in schools associated with the various education boards operating in the nation as the third National Education Policy (2020) is being implemented, with necessary pedagogical changes to meet the FLN (Foundational Literacy and Numeracy) goals of study in school education.

It is a core subject or even a subject that is required in almost all boards, and children start learning about it in elementary school. Even though some boards have allowed students to choose between general or basic mathematics in class 10, the subject is still required up until the class 10 exams. The average age of students taking the class 10 board exams is 16 years old.

In essence, it suggests a lower level of mathematics. For the purposes of the board exam, the mathematics course is offered in this system in two formats: standard and basic, particularly at the class 10 level. Standard mathematics refers to the curriculum as a whole, whereas basic mathematics is a condensed version that focuses on the mathematical skills needed in everyday life.

Students who are certain that they do not want to pursue any mathematics-related fields for higher education, such as engineering, can choose basic mathematics; however, students who want to pursue engineering or another stream of science that is related to mathematics must choose “standard.”

The standard/basic option is provided by the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board, some state boards, including those in Rajasthan and Gujarat, as well as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the largest board network in India.

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