Grade 10 math to become full-year course in N.S.

The Nova Scotia government will make Grade 10 math a year-round subject and replace the current semestered version starting next year.

The Nova Scotia government will make Grade 10 math a year-round subject and replace the current semestered version starting next year.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex, who made the announcement Tuesday, said the new course will provide students with 220 hours of in-class mathematics rather than the previous 110 hours.

"No matter what their future plans are, our young people need a strong foundation in math," Jennex said in a statement.

"Parents want their children to develop skills that will help them in everyday life and industry leaders say that math is key."

Jennex said the Grade 10 mathematics course will teach fewer concepts in more depth. The same concept will apply to the new math curriculum being introduced in Grade Primary to Grade 3 next year.

"We were teaching an awful lot of outcomes for our students, teaching them for small amounts of time. Probably not maybe when they were developmentally ready for them," Jennex told reporters.

"What we're providing with our new curriculum is that students will have a stronger foundation in their math.

The move is the latest attempt to improve math results among high school students, who have not scored well in province-wide exams in the last few years.

According to the Department of Education, 56 per cent of students who took the Grade 12 math exam passed in the 2011-12 school year. The year before that, the provincial average was a 52 per cent passing rate.

The new full-year course is set to begin in the fall of 2013 and will also include a financial literacy component.

"We found that our students ended up graduating not understanding those basic concepts of, if they're going to purchase a home, how to plan their budget. How much you need for your apartment, how much you need to budget out for your groceries," said Jennex.

"We did find from research that students retain the math in a much better way if they're taught over a year-long course."