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Mathematical Association partners Kaduna govt. on mathematics promotion


By Philip Yatai

Kaduna – The Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) Kaduna State chapter on Wednesday expressed its readiness to partner  the state government to rekindle students interest in mathematics.

The state Chairman of the association, Dr Musa Ibrahim, made this known during his official visit to the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Ja’afaru Sani, saying  the partnership was imperative in enhancing students performance in the subject.

Ibrahim, an Associate Professor with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, explained to the commissioner and his management team that the association’s goal was to improve the teaching, learning and understanding of mathematics.

He said that some of their activities were organising quiz competitions among primary, junior and senior secondary school students and training and retraining of mathematics teachers to improve their teaching skills.

He added that the mission of the association was to improve the understanding of mathematics education by fostering exchange of ideas and collaboration among mathematics teachers in the state.

“We will soon organise the 2019 National Mathematics Olympia which will be in three stages: primary five and six, junior secondary schools and senior secondary schools.

“The pupils and students will compete at zonal level to select the best that will represent the states at national level.”

The competition is an effective way of discovering and nurturing mathematically talented students, he added.

“We are, therefore, seeking your assistance to direct all the schools under your purview to actively participate in the competitions and any other assistance you deem necessary,” Ibrahim said.

He pointed out that the state  has intelligent students, but noted that the long historical phobia for  the subject has  affected children’s interest and performance in the subject.

According to him, children have been brainwashed that mathematics is a very difficult subject and the notion has continued to affect their performance.
“We intend to break the myth that mathematics is difficult and spur the interest of pupils and students on the subject
“We will equally organise series of training and retraining of mathematics teachers in the state to equip them with new techniques and attitude of teaching the subjects to demystify the long erroneous perception of the subject among students.”

Responding, the commissioner thanked the association for the partnership, describing it as “crucial in improving the teaching and learning of the subject among pupils and students”.

“We have been looking for ways to improve the teaching and learning of the subject and we all agreed that one sure way is to ‘catch them young’ and spur the interest of our children in the subject.
“We are glad that you are not only concerned about the pupils and students, but the teacher’s capacity to teach the subject as well.
“We have concluded plans with Kaduna State University to train our mathematics teachers to improve their capacity to deliver; your partnership is another boost needed to make us achieve reasonable result in the area,” he said.

Sani assured the association of  the government’s readiness to partner with them in promoting mathematics education in the state.

He, therefore, mandated the Director Science and Technology in the ministry to give the association maximum  support to ensure the success of the quiz competitions and enhance collaboration in other areas. (NAN)

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