THOUSANDS of schoolchildren are to use new maths books which aim to boost their thinking and communication skills in addition to their counting. The books - in English and Chinese - are part of the Target Oriented Curriculum which is designed to help schools develop clear objectives and a more stimulating approach to teaching, learning and assessment. Seventy schools will start the course in Primary One in September, and it should be in use throughout all schools by 2000. The chief executive of the Education Department's Curriculum Development Institute, Dr Leung Yat-ming, said the new scheme would improve learning in both languages. The drawback of the curriculum is its cost, which one publisher estimated would be 40 to 50 per cent higher than others because it needs more teaching aids.