The Stupidity Of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's Plan To Replace Algebra, Calculus And Trigonometry With Business Math For Secondary Education

I have previously written an article related to doing Math wrong in the public schools, now it's time for me to at least raise this concern on Rodrigo Duterte. As much as I am in favor of actually shooting down big time crooks or going federal but his plan is just stupid. I would like to share why it blew off my mind hearing what he just said. The whole idea of replacing algebra, calculus and trigonometry with just business math is dumb at several levels.

Here's an excerpt from the Philippine Star's article on Duterte's plan:

“Yung Calculus alisin ko talaga yan. Dumaan kayo ng high school, ano ang natutunan niyo sa Calculus, Trigonometry? Yang Algebra palitan mo na yan ng Business Math (I would have Calculus taken out. What have you learned in Calculus and Trigonometry during high school? Let’s replace Algebra with Business Math),” Duterte said during a thanksgiving dinner at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

The dinner was hosted by two supporters of Duterte and his running mate Sen. Alan Peter Ca-yetano.

Duterte said learning unnecessary numbers and signs in Mathematics does not serve any useful purpose.

“You know there are crazy things. It does not serve the purpose at all. Pinapahirapan lang ang mga bata (you just make it hard for the kids), Business Math and Statistics, pwede pa,” he said.

“Yun lang mag-drawing ng akyat-pababa, nahihilo na ako (Drawing lines up and down makes me dizzy),” he said, referring to line graphs.

He said students should not be pressured in school with “sine, cosine” as these are not applicable when they go job-hunting.

“Use with numbers 1, 2 and 3, instead,” he said.

Duterte said subjects such as Geometry and Physics would remain in the curriculum, as these are practical and useful in one’s daily life.

I may not be good in Math but come on, what's really the whole problem? I agree that Geometry and Physics are indeed useful because they would help in weeding out the fit from the unfit in courses that really need them. The problem is in removing Algebra, Calculus and Trigonometry from the high school curriculum would be uncalled for because those subjects are related to Geometry and Physics. He must also consider that Algebra is the most applied Mathematics in any field. I mean don't business math and statistics also use algebra?

Everything in applications of science and mathematics goes back to finding X or the missing value. For example business math gives you the sample problem of solving the interest. The formula for interest is the principal multiplied by the rate multiplied by the time. If you have the interest charged and it's quite high, don't you want to make sure that the rate was within legal limits? Then the rate becomes the X, that's an application of algebra. How does he expect to have geometry without algebra? He should also consider that basic calculus is also used in economics and business applications while higher calculus is used for Math-intensive courses. Trigonometry may not be used by all people when they look for a job but it's a subject vital for engineering and computer programming. These subjects would at least help determine who is fit or this course and who is fit for that course. If one does not even know basic calculus and trigonometry, how can one appreciate physics and geometry?

I really hope Duterte reconsiders his plan because it's just plain stupid.

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