Davao City Mayor and 2016 presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte recently proposed that algebra, calculus, and trigonometry must be replaced in the education curriculum with business math.
I perfectly understand the practical intent of Mayor Duterte, but I am not sure if he has clearly stated his idea. I refuse to totally oppose his idea of banning high school algebra, trigonometry, and calculus because I can see something sensible and reasonable in his suggestion.
In real, normal life not in a job environment or professional setting, one only needs algebra, geometry, business math, and basic statistics. All Filipino high school students should learn those subjects, and all university admission exams should only include those mathematical topics to be fair.
I do not, however, support the banning of trigonometry and calculus in secondary schools. I think they should still be offered for advanced, intelligent students who want to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in college. They should be treated as elective subjects.
Career-wise, I do not see the need for trigonometry and calculus for high school students who are inclined to pursue arts, design, writing, law, and others that do not require mathematics and sciences. If there should be a curriculum change, critical thinking and reading comprehension are better.
If algebra, trigonometry, and calculus are banned, how can students from non-science high schools participate in math contests and olympiads, be influenced to pursue mathematics as a career, and learn that their innate passion is mathematics? We should not limit the possibilities for our youth.
Filipino students should be exposed to mathematics early. Perhaps there are future math geniuses among them. The Philippines badly needs such minds.