Why can't the British count? The UK government is going mad because the British are so hopeless at Maths - kids in Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore are miles ahead. UK children just don't like sums. And without a calculator, nine out of ten of the population can only add up if they use their fingers. So what is going wrong?

Well to begin with, all the numbers they use are crazy. The British don't like metrics. They prefer old measurement from hundreds of years ago - feet and inches, pounds and stones. Proud people, but strange numbers. So a person weighing 50 kilograms would be 7.5 stones in Britain. Now a "stone" is 14 pounds and a pound is made up of 16 ounces. Don't get lost because you might want to weigh something heavy! Then it would be in tons, and a ton is 144 stones - can you wonder the kids give up!

And the results are everywhere. Go into a supermarket and see a special offer saying 2 items for £3, now reduced to £1.50p each (see the picture!) In a pharmacy, you will be told you can only buy 2 boxes of aspirins at a time. And how many would it take to kill you? Well it's 30 actually and they just sold you 32.

But don't kill yourself, just fly home for a holiday instead. I tried and the UK airport security stopped me because I had a 200ml bottle of face toner which was half full. The security man told me I could only take 100ml, and sent me to the airport pharmacy to buy a 100ml bottle to pour my liquid toner into. So I did it and we proved together that one half of 200ml is 100ml! If only he had learnt that in classroom! So all you students who are coming here to study marketing, finance, and economics, remember there are plenty of jobs for Maths teachers too!

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