UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has gone back to school – well in a manner of speaking – as he completes one year in office as one of the UK’s senior-most Cabinet ministers.
While schools remain closed as a result of the coronavirus lockdown and pupils adapt to online learning, the British Indian minister has been taking some time out at No. 11 Downing Street to Zoom into the maths classrooms across the country to help with some problem solving.
“With schools adapting to the lockdown and visits reduced, I've been dropping into maths classes across the country to run through some tasks, before taking questions from the kids,” said Sunak, the member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorks).
Most recently, the joined the pupils of at Holywell Primary School in Watford, Hertfordshire, last week when he was grilled not only about sums and triangles but also about life in lockdown and being Chancellor of the Exchequer.
“I’m a little bit nervous; I’m hopeful that I can do the sums properly,” said , as he opened the virtual classroom session, complete with his own white-board and markers.
At the end of the maths session, he was bombarded with a variety of questions – from what it is like being a politician and his favourite subjects growing up, which he listed as Economics, English and Maths, and football and cricket as his favourite sports. On a personal note, he spoke of his doctor dad and pharmacist mum being the biggest influences in his life.
described his work as “very rewarding”, even as he admitted that at least half of the time, lots of people are very upset with whatever you do.
“Even though you are trying your best and doing what you think is right, there’ll always be some people who disagree with you… so you’ve got to develop some thick skin to get through that and just work hard and do your best,” he said.
The father of two schoolgirls, in Years 3 and 5, admitted their lockdown fatigue as they long to be reunited with their schoolmates and set his goal for 2021 to table a Budget that would help the country on the path of some normality, aided by life-saving vaccines.