the Twelfth Five-Year Plan recognized the centrality of the quality challenge
and has explicitly committed to a target of: “Improving learning outcomes
that are measured, monitored, and reported independently at all levels of
school education with a special focus on ensuring that all children master
basic reading and numeracy skills by class 2 and skills of critical thinking,
expression and problem solving by class 5.” Numeracy skills has been
identified by Dearing (1997) as the “key to the future success of graduates
whatever they intend to do in later life” considering it as one of the
essential skill for employability. Numeracy is a skill which is not only
required for employment but is a skill relevant throughout life (NCIHE, 1997).
In a list of specific skills required for any job produced by DfEE , in 1998, Basic
literacy and numeracy occupied the first place. For freshers , Martin et.al.
(2008) has mentioned that the employers expect candidates to ‘at least be
enthusiastic, literate, numerate and able to turn up on time’.
paper tries to understand the importance of numeracy skills as even the employers give importance to
numeracy skill . Recruitment process involves screening of candidates having
poor numeracy skills, irrespective of their degree subject. Since numeracy
tests are being conducted for recruitment in almost all types of jobs .
According to Standard Occupation Classification (SOC), the numerical tests for
recruitment purpose has been used for recruitment on following posts:
Professional posts (75%), Managerial positions (48%), Administrative positions
(39%), Associate professional and technical (31%), Secretarial and clerical
positions(29%), Sales and customer service( 19%), Skilled trade (14%)and
Process, plant and machine operative posts (10%). In fact only 32% of jobs
demand a first degree in a specific academic discipline which is even less in
banking/ financial and service sectors where only 16% and 29% of jobs do. 70%
of employer consider it essential to pass the numeracy tests and 30% consider
it desirable. Many graduates are rejected without interview because of their
poor numeracy skills.
it becomes need of time to prepare the students with the sufficient level of
numeracy skills in order to increase employment opportunities for the fresh
graduates. This highlights how important it is for undergraduate programs to be
more inclusive of intra-curricular activities that give opportunities to
students to develop their numeracy skills.