By Dayo Adesulu
Mrs. Essien Bassey, a Mathematics teacher at Pegasus High School, Eket, Akwa Ibom State, has said that her method of “preaching mathematics like a church sermon” has helped greatly in sustaining the interest of her students in the subject.
Bassey who accompanied her student to the venue of the on-going 2016 Cowbellpedia Mathematics Television Quiz Show in Lagos explained that math is a subject that requires a lot of emotions on the part of the teacher and students. “I have found out that Math, like religion, requires a lot of emotions; and since I discovered this, I have changed my tactics. Now I preach Math, I don’t teach it.
The Bible is full of parables which Jesus used to illustrate his teachings that appeared difficult to his followers. The parables simplify the stories and consequently connect to the emotions of the listeners. The same I do in my class and it is working,” she told journalists.
She maintained that Math is an emotional subject that should be taught with a lot of conviction, to achieve short and long-term objectives. “The short-term goal is for the students to pick enough interest to pass the subject, while the long-term goal, for me, is to convert the students to great mathematicians,”
Bassey who has been teaching math for the past 13 years, said.
Her student, UwakmfomUtuk and Ademola Fatoke of Ota Total Academy, qualified for the semi-final in the Senior category. The duo overcame Oluwaseun Emoda of Scholars Universal Sec. School, Ota, Ogun State; BukolaAbolarin of Landmark University Sec. School, Omu-Aran, Kwara State; Nathaniel Damale of Aleka Academy, Ankpa, Kogi State and Immaculate Conception Secondary School, Bauchi, Bauchi State.
In the Junior category, Oreofe Daniel of The Ambassador College, Ota, and Micah Gabriel of Evangel College, Gombe, Gombe State qualified for the semi-finals. The duo defeated Taofikat Tiamiyu of Scholars Universal Sec. School, Ota; Peter Atolagbe of Miracle International School, Osogbo, Osun State; Goodness Isang of Nigerian Turkish International School, Abuja and FavourAnefu of Global Kids Academy, Sokoto, Sokoto State.
Utuk and Fatoke expressed confidence about their chances to excel in the finals and promised to put in all efforts to realise the dream of winning the ultimate prize. The same sentiment was re-echoed by Gabriel and Daniel. “I thank God for the journey so far, and I pray I am able to do the needful to win the prize. This is my 2016 New Year resolution and I pray God will help me,” Daniel said.
The ultimate prize for this year’s edition is One million naira and an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country. The teacher of the winning students will receive N400,000. The airing of the program continues this weekend.