UK schools to introduce translated Chinese maths textbooks

Pupils in the UK could soon be using Chinese maths textbooks following a deal between HarperCollins and Shanghai publishing house.

The deal could see UK schools using the translated books in a bid to improve maths ability in British pupils, as China produces some of the world’s top-performing students in this subject

Harper Collins’ education division signed an agreement to release a series of 36 maths books at London Book Fair and the China Daily reported the deal as “historic”.

According to the China Daily, Colin Hughes, managing director of Collins Learning, said: “To my knowledge this has never happened in history before – that textbooks created for students in China will be translated exactly as they have been developed, and sold for use in British schools.

“The textbook deal is part of wider cooperation between the UK and China, and the government hopes to boost British students’ performance in maths.”

However, there is also concerns that the introduction of the textbooks will not solve Britain’s maths problems, because the fundamentals of the education systems differ too much.

Xiong Bingqi, an education expert at Shanghai Jiaotong University and the vice-president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, commented: “Britain and China’s education evaluation system is very different.

"In the required subjects, Chinese schools follow a high standard of uniform requirements because most of the Chinese students need to participate in the university entrance examination, so mathematics will be too difficult [for the British].”

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