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The New Zealand Initiative says a poor school curriculum - plus a lack of oversight - equals Kiwis without math skills.
The Ministry of Education has called in an expert panel for advice on how to improve math skills.
Think-tank The New Zealand Initiative says today's 15-year-olds are performing the same as 13-year olds in 2000.
Executive Director Oliver Hartwich told Heather du Plessis-Allan this is partly down to our child-centred approach.
"It doesn't work because actually we should actually be prescribing to students what to learn, rather than leaving it to the creativity of students to tell us what they would like to do today."
He says we need to focus on a knowledge-rich curriculum, and need better monitoring in schools.
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