Demystify Mathematics, FG urges teachers

THE Federal Government has challenged teachers who teach Mathematics in schools to demystify the subject by making it more appealing and interesting to students.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr MacJohn Nwaobiala, gave the charge at the grand finale of the annual Mathematics quiz competition organised by the Federal Ministry of Education for Senior Secondary Students of the Federal Government Colleges in Abuja.

Represented by the Director of Planning, Research and Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Omotowa, Nwaobiala noted that the knowledge of Mathematics enhances students’ development of disposition such as curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, that impact on their future successes.

He said: “In today’s world that is knowledge-based, we are bombarded with data that must be collected, collated and analysed for decision making. It then becomes necessary that more students should pursue mathematical and technical occupations and have a strong understanding of Mathematics that will open doors to productive future. Therefore, Mathematics is not just a classroom skill but a life time skill.”

As relevant as mathematics is, he said, it has always been a nightmare to most students, with the phobia reflected in their poor performance of students in internal and external examinations.

To reverse this trend, the permanent secretary said, the Federal Ministry of Education, through its relevant agencies such as the National Teachers’ Institute, National Commission for Colleges of Education and the National Mathematical Centre, instituted different programmes aimed at improving the teaching and learning of Mathematics.

He said the annual Mathematics quiz competition is part of the effort of the ministry towards re-awakening students’ consciousness and interest in the subject.

Commending the outstanding performance of the students in the completion, he urged the principals and teachers of the colleges not to relent in preparing the students annually for the competition, saying, “This extra-curricular activity creates an opportunity for students to master mathematics skills.”

The grand finale of the competition, which featured 25 students from 20 Unity Schools across the country, saw Miss Fajuyi Olajumoke of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Efon-Alaaye, Ekiti State, emerging as overall winner. Master Animashahun Jamiu of Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba, Lagos and Miss Balogun Taiwo of Queens’ College, Yaba, Lagos emerged second and third respectively.

Other colleges that participated include Federal Government College, Ikirun, Osun State; FGA, Suleja; Kings’ College, Lagos; Federal Government College, Warri; Federal Government College, Kaduna; Federal Government Girls College, Benin; Federal Government Girls College, Leijia, Federal Government College, Enugu; FSTC, Jalingo; Federal Government College, Keffi, Federal Government College, Nise; Federal Government College, Okposi; Federal Government College, Ganye; FSC, Sokoto and Federal Government Girls College, Bauchi.

Speaking at the occasion, the Acting Director, Technology and Science Education Department, Mrs. Tina Eyaru, said that the mathematics competition would not only promote and boost the interest of the students in the subject but would go a long way to build a well-grounded foundation for technology and science development.

She said it would also take away the phobia that many students have for the subject.

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