"You'll never walk alone"

Bill O’Herlihy and RTE can take solace from the fact that they are not alone. From the OECD (PIAAC) study in 2012, just over 25% of Irish adults score at or below Level 1 for numeracy compared to a 20% average across participating countries.
While Bill’s contribution to the debate was hilarious, there is a very serious and expensive underlying issue behind all of this.
In the UK, in a study published on 11th March last week, a team of Pro Bono Economics researchers produced analysis that puts as its central, conservative estimate, the cost to the UK of poor adult numeracy at £20.2 billion per year (or about 1.3% of GDP).
We really need to encourage our children to become fluent in maths, just as we do with languages such as Irish, French and any other we choose. Total immersion and creative connections with real experiences are the key components to such fluency.
Can Ireland’s woes be largely down to many of our business leaders and politicians having a really poor fluency in mathematics? Imagine a Bill O’Herlihy type gaffe at a Central Bank Of Ireland regulation meeting with Bertie and you get the idea.
Fluency in maths is attainable and could save the country a fortune while dragging it out of the mess we’re now in.