What’s so bad about Canada?

February 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

moose-track-mathJust a little aside. Has anyone seen this campaign about numeracy that the Conservatives have going at the moment?

The accompanying poster says that the UK ought to be top of the global league table in maths. As someone who’s a bit of a cosmopolitan liberal, I’d like to see all children the world over get an equally good mathematical start in life, but I’m happy for the revolution to begin at home. The poster lists the countries who are doing better than us, with some indignation that they’ve overtaken us. The part I don’t get is why Korea and Canada get singled out (they don’t specify which Korea).

Both Canada and Korea, just like Britain, have a history of innovation in engineering and mechanics which has given the world the Canadian Pacific Railway, the first metal-hulled warships and the Back-Of-The-Hand-Phone. How on earth were they supposed to achieve that without a good grasp of their times tables? Weird.

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