Abuja -The Director, National Mathematical Centre, Prof. Adewale Solarin, has denied claims that the centre is dormant.
Solarin said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the training of students for the upcoming Pan-African Science Olympiad in Abuja on Monday.
The director spoke over allegations that the dormancy of the centre was responsible for the poor standards of Mathematics in the education sector.
“National Mathematical Centre (NMC) led Nigerian students to achieve a Guinness World Record Certificate 2013, that was the first time Nigeria was entering Guinness World Record in knowledge-based event.
“We had an event in which 2,000 Nigerian students received medals. It’s a world record event; even Olympics don’t award up to 2,000 medals but we do all these things to promote Mathematics to encourage young Nigerians.
“Apart from that, if you take statistics of Mathematical sciences professors- Mathematics, Computer Science, Statistics, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics Education; 99 per cent of professors of these subject areas that are in Nigerian universities today are alumni of NMC.
“To me, it is unfortunate that someone will sit somewhere and just say that the organisation is dormant.’’
He alluded the mass failure of Mathematics at both primary and secondary levels yearly to the abstract methods in which the subject was taught and learnt in schools.
According to him, the centre has proffered different solutions aimed at upgrading the study of Mathematics for both teachers and students across the country.
“National Mathematical Centre that is funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria has the solution and we are saying it, we are talking about it but unfortunately, those who need to listen are not listening or maybe they have challenges.
“For 10 years, National Mathematical Sciences did research to the causes of failure in Maths at the lower level that is at the primary and secondary level and we came up with the solution.
“We found that students have challenges because Maths appears abstract and then also teachers have challenges having cutting-edge teaching methods.
“So, we came up with experimenting just like they would do experiments in Biology, Physics Chemistry, they are interested in those ones because they do some things with their hands so we introduced those stuff.’’
Solarin urged all state governments to take advantage of the centre’s research on Mathematics and replicate these instructional materials to stimulate the interest of students in their public schools.
NAN recalls that the NMC gained world recognition in 2013 when it was awarded a Guinness Book of Records’ certificate for the largest number of people in a Mathematics class. (NAN)