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‘How to encourage teaching of Mathematics in Nigeria’

Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti

A professor of Mathematics, Michael Alonge, has listed issues discouraging the teaching and learning of Mathematics in schools and colleges and how they could be tackled.

He said government and private school owners must employ teachers who have mathematics as major course of study to teach in schools, adding that such would make students have the best hands in teaching the subjects.

The don also told stakeholders in education to ensure that mathematics teachers follow their students as they move higher in classes so that the teachers, having understood their challenges, would know better ways to impart the knowledge. He spoke recently while giving a lecture entitled; “Teaching and Assessment Strategies in Mathematics as Panacea for Technological and Entrepreneural Developments” at the Ajayi Polythethnic,  Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Alonge who said that failure of education to provide solution to myriad of socio-economic problems plaguing the country should be blamed on failure to see Mathematics as compulsory subject in all schools, said: “The knowledge bid Mathematics plays a major role in nation building. Today, many students in the country have no interest in the subject because of the wrong approach to teaching it.

“Schools and government must ensure that only teachers who have been trained mainly in mathematics that teach the subjects. Teachers shouldn’t mark down students for not getting the final answer. Award marks for correct steps taken by students who didn’t get final answer in the mathematical calculations.

“There is also the need for schools to ensure that teachers of Mathematics graduate with their students to their next class. If a teacher has taught the class one this session, he should teach same class of students when they get to class one. That way he is better to impart the knowledge because he already knows the challenges of the students in understanding the subjects.”

While Alonge also stressed on proper preparation, continuous assessment, assignment, lesson notes, examples and interrelated aspects of Mathematics, another academic, Dr. Lucia Valente, founder, Computational Class Note and Loss of Generality, Republic of Ireland, spoke on the use of cloud technology in teaching mathematics the easy way:

“The system, cloud technology, is designed to work with educators in ensuring effective teaching of mathematics in colleges. It is practice-based. The students keep practising until they get it. It increases their grades as it lays emphasis on homework. It is possible to increase student’s grade with constant practice.

“It is based on visualization, animation and unlimited variation, self learning, no textbooks, practice all the time. It enchances time utilization, decrease drop out, increase grades and encourages tangible knowledge, gives students confidence and make them to believe in themselves which are principles for educators. Moreover, is customised for teachers and clients and in so doing show case the cultural or organisational identity of the client.”

Founder and rector of the school, Dr. Busayo Ajayi, said the private polytechnic was established to raise giants through inclusive entrepreneurship and innovative technological education in the country:

“We want to solve the problems of the graduates who are either not unemployed because they are unemployable or because they have not acquired the necessary training skills that would enable them to meet the needs of industries. The institution seeks to provide education that will develop skills, abilities, entrepreneurial mindset and understanding attitudes in their graduates.

Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jide Egunjobi, urged students to shun cultism, violence, exams malpractices and all acts that would stagnate their progress in the institution: “Cultism is an act that has been banned totally in the state.”

The ceremony attracted two traditional rulers, the Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Ademiji Adu, the host and Chairman, Council of Obas Ekiti State, who is also Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Michael Ademolaju. The monarchs called on all and sundry, to support the institution to achieve its dreams of producing “giants” in the country.

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