By Dayo Adesulu & Japhet Alakam
As part of efforts geared towards making students develop interest in mathematics as a way of enhancing the learning of sciences in our secondary schools as no nation can develop without mathematics, a non governmental organisation MCLILYVILLE , an education consulting firm in collaboration with Lagos State government organised a Mathematics Clinic for SS1 students in Lagos mainland last week. The clinic tagged No Maths No Vision 2020 brought together over 50 teachers and 500 students from different schools in Lagos mainland.
According to Mr N.C.Ojarana, coordinator of the maths clinic, the programme was aimed at reaching out to weak students in mathematics, create the right atmosphere for the study of maths, ensure the credibility for the virtues of maths in the secondary schools and to appropriate degree of awareness which will in no distant time ensure anticipated attitudinal change for maths students among others.
Ojarana pointed out that most of the countries that are developed today hinge their development to science and there is no country that is good in science without being good in maths. According to him â€œrecords from a recent research by the firm revealed that about 80% of our students are not good in maths so this maths clinic is our own way of contributing to the development of mathematics in the land.â€
The clinic was divided into two sessions, first session was an interactive session with maths teachers. In their contribution the maths teachers were in agreement that students no longer have interest in maths and adduced that to a number of reasons, stressing that the performance of students depends on the teachers but the maths teachers are not remunerated as such many of them do not put in their best.
Moreover he noted that the environment where the students learn is very bad, adding that the government do not provide the necessary teaching materials like graphs, construction materials, blackboards and maths laboratory. They also pointed out that the poor background which the students come from in the primary schools are not good for the subject.
The role of the students themselves are not helping matters as they shy away from the subject. Besides, the role of parents is also a factor, adding that in a situation whereby the parents do not even make out time to look at their wards assignment, leaving every thing for the teachers will not bring out the desired result.
Based on the following, the teachers advised that mathematics as an abstract subject should be taught and studied under a conducive environment. That extra hours be allocated to the teaching of the subject and that the maths teachers should be given extra pay for the work. They also suggested that moreÂ competent maths teachers should be employed for the work so that the number of students in a classroom will be reduced and the necessary teaching materials be provided for the teachers.
The second session featured the teaching and interaction with the students. The coordinator further explained the purpose of the clinic which is to make the students develop interest in maths as a way of realising the Vision 2020 project of the federal government.Ojarana noted that, no matter the weakness of any person in maths when the individual develop interest in the subject and the teacher, he will definitely do well in it.
To buttress his point on this, he called out two former students who were weak in the subject but later developed interest in the subject and are now maths teachers. The duo of Ifeanyi and Onyeka came and demonstrated to the students how simple maths is by teaching themÂ Trigonometry and Inequalities to the admiration of the students.
The students on their part pointed out some of the reasons why they are not doing well in maths. Some of the reasons according to the students were the attitude of some of their teachers and the un conducive environment of the classrooms and having over 80 students in one classroom.
They also said that most of the students do not help matters as they make jest of the teachers and disturb whenever teaching is going on. They however thanked the organisers of the clinic for the good job and promised to change for good.