The Reasons People Fear And Fail Mathematics -Prof. Adewale (must read!)


The Chief Executive, National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, Prof. Adewale Solarin, has identified wrong tools and poor teaching method as some of the reasons why pupils fear Mathematics.

According to him, until the authorities address these challenges, many pupils will continue to find the subject uninteresting and intimidating. Solarin, a professor of Mathematics, said this at the Ultimate Mathematics Ambassador competition, in Ota, Ogun State. The Chairman, the Ambassadors Schools, Mr. Samson Osewa, introduced the competition three years ago.

According to Solarin, research has shown that many Nigerian pupils who disliked mathematics exhibited remarkable improvement within two weeks of utilising the right tools. “The major challenges are having access to the right tools and teaching method. What we have done at the centre is to create the right tools and train mathematics teachers.

“We have done much work to change the perception of mathematics as a difficult subject. In 2013, we set a record when we assembled 2,381 pupils from every state in Nigeria. It was the largest mathematics class in the world and we still hold the record,” he said.

Contributing, Osewa said the desire to see a difference in understanding the subject prompted the initiative. He added, “The idea is for pupils to learn mathematics and for their teachers to show more commitment in seeking new ways to affect positively on their pupils. “This a mission geared towards eliminating the prevalent mathematics phobia prevalent among pupils. We have thus decided to do so at the grass roots. In our third year of sponsoring this programme, we have heard testimonies of turnaround among pupils, who hitherto had phobia for mathematics but who are now super stars.”

Presenting a paper titled, “Mathematics: an Essential Tool for every Activity of Everyone, Everywhere,” a senior lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Dr. Adewunmi Adelodun, said mathematics is an indispensable tool for every one. The mathematics teacher added, “However, little, the knowledge of mathematics is at play in everyday activities of mankind. Even in creating man and animals, the law of symmetry in Mathematics is evident. I wish to appeal to all pupils, particularly the prizewinners, to study hard to become doctors and professors of mathematics and mathematical sciences. To achieve this, the time to start is now,” he said. No fewer than 228 schools presented pupils for the competition with Akinleye Akintobi of the St. Bernadette School, Ipaja, Lagos emerging the overall winner.

The lad received N125,000 while his mathematics teacher got a cash prize and a plaque. Nine other pupils received consolation prizes.

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