Numerous studies confirm that, in many post-colonial territories, students experience significant difficulties in the field of mathematics. This skill deficit has a negative impact on the human, social and economic development of these former colonies. This paper presents the initial results of the Africa 2020 Mental Math project. As part of the project, nearly 3000 elementary school students in Martinique, an overseas territory of France, were assessed on their mental calculation skills. An in-depth study was conducted in 15 classes in order to know the didactic practices of the teachers but also the perceptions of the pupils and those of the parents so as to determine their relationship to mathematics and mental calculation. The results obtained allowed us to measure the mental calculation performances of students in a number of Martinican schools but also to describe the local learning ecosystem and the relationship between the main education actors in Martinique and the teaching of mathematics.
Manuel Garcon, University of French West Indies, Martinique