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Stakeholders want FG to establish mathematics study centres in all LGAs

Stakeholders and students have urged the Federal Government to establish mathematics study centres, in all the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, to arouse interest in the learning of the subject.

The stakeholders spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday, in Abuja, amid the celebration of the UNESCO inspired International Day of Mathematics, observed annually on March 14, since 2019.

This year’s celebration has as its theme “Mathematics for a Better World”.

NAN reports that mathematics, being an important and compulsory subject for pupils and students in primary and secondary school respectively, also finds its bearing in the technical and sciences at the tertiary level.

Mr. Sunday Onoja, a graduate of Mass Communication from Kogi State University, said that there was need for the government to find a way of making the subject more attractive and interesting.

He noted that establishing mathematics villages cum study centres in all the 774 LGAs would help children develop interest in its study from the primary level.

According to Onoja, simply establishing the centres may, however, not be enough, but equipping them with adequate materials and qualified teachers will go a long way to making the centres what they should be.

“Although, some attempts have been made to address the situation like creation of the National Mathematical Centre and also the effort of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, tagged ‘Cowbell mathematics competition’, but we still need to do a lot more.

“There should be massive intervention from both government, non-governmental organisations and corporate organisations, to remove the myths and phobia around the teaching and learning of mathematics in our academic system.

“Government should organise national mathematics competitions annually, just like national sports competitions, for all categories of students from primary to tertiary institutions.

“Government should also establish mathematical study centres in all the 774 LGAs of the country manned by seasoned mathematicians, in addition to  instructional materials accessible to all the students and users”, he said.

Onoja also noted that the teaching of mathematics in all schools should be demystified, so that students could get adequate knowledge of the subject.

Also, Miss Chiazam George, a Youth Corps Member, said that mathematics, as a subject, played an important role in the development of any economy, hence the need to take its teaching and learning serious.

She said that most students have a phobia for mathematics, which makes them lose interest in the learning of the subject.

George noted that Mathematics as a subject was the substructure upon which all the other science and technology subjects were built.

“Therefore, the study of mathematics cannot be over emphasised as it plays a major role in broadening the students’ learning abilities and also widening frontiers of academic development.

“No nation can afford not paying adequate attention to mathematics teaching and learning, curriculum and programmes, as a matter of national interest.

“It has been discovered that most students have a phobia for mathematics, which led to lack of or withdrawal of interest in the teaching and learning of the subject.

“This also explains the lack of adequate manpower in the field of mathematics”, she added.

n his part, Master Pelumi Adebayo, a Senior Secondary Student, said that the fear of calculations most times hindered interest by some students in the subject.

e appealed to parents to always catch their children young, by organising private mathematics teachers for them from the primary school level.

In his reaction, Mr Johnson Eyiangho, an Editor with NAN, lamented that many students had lost interest in mathematics because of the way the teachers  taught the subject, saying that mathematics ought to be taught as a practical subject rather than in the abstract.

“We have good mathematics teachers in all our schools, but the way the teaching is done compared to developed countries is the only difference.

“The way mathematics is taught here is not the same abroad. If the teaching is made simple, many students will develop interest in it,’’ Eyiangho said.

e urged the government to make it mandatory for  corporate organisations to sponsor annual mathematics  competition backed by adequate rewards for students and teachers that distinguished themselves. (NAN)

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