ToolsIt’s now adding upI had the shock of my life recently. As part of a financial IQ programme run by the Growing Leaders Foundation (GLF), I went to a highperforming primary school to give a lecture on DigitalMath (digitalmath.tt), a system of doing nontrivial arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) with just your hands. The talk was being given to a Standard Four class. I got to the point where I said, “I will show you how to do arithmetic with your hands.” One student raised his hand and asked, “Sir, what is arithmetic?” To say I was taken aback is an understatement, but I said, “You really don’t know what arithmetic is?” “No, sir”. “Anyone knows?” No one did. “I suppose you know about mathematics?” “Yes, sir!” I find it incredible that tenyearolds in T&T have not heard the term “arithmetic” but they are au courant with “mathematics”. Long ago, primary school pupils did not use the term “mathematics” but were quite competent at it. If the level of (in)competence of university students in mathematics is anything to go by, the opposite is true nowadays. Maybe this incident gives us a little insight into one of the many ills that has crept into, and is plaguing, our education system. Noel Kalicharan via email A government destroys because it doesn’t obey the rules of universe. What do you think about the rules of universe? You can find them in every religion. They are not very strange. They can be understood very easily. All people know about them. Now, a political man who has power and he doesn’t obey the rules... He has more responsibility than the ordinary people. People expect political men be more exemplary There is a rule in the universe, which says whoever has responsibility for people and don’t obey rules will soon decline. That is the reason a government falls.
Mohammad Farnush via email Let us know your thoughts

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