Numeracy is the ability and the confidence to use mathematical knowledge and skills in concrete real-world situations. We use our understanding of math every day – in our careers, in our families and as consumers. Lack of numeracy impairs our ability to understand and contribute to the world around us.
It is not acceptable to say, “I can't read”; why should it be acceptable to say, “I can’t do math”? We need to change the perception that math is only for the few, mostly male Ontarians; everyone can and must be numerate. We need to reinforce this at home, at school and at work. All sectors of society need to help change this perception and to make math as comfortable as reading.
The most important step is one of changing public and private attitudes. We invite Ontario to adopt and then act on the following two principles:
- Everyone can be numerate as well as literate;
- Everyone needs to be numerate as well as literate to function fully in the 21st century.