Regional News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Source: GNA

Mathematics needed for accelerated development

Mrs. Doris Gyedu-Nuako, Deputy National Coordinator of the Early Childhood Development Unit of the Ghana Education Service, says to enhance accelerated development in the country, mathematics was needed as a basis.

"If so, the right training of our young children in their early years is very crucial to the future development of our country."

Mrs. Gyedu-Nuako said this, at the launch of the National I-Maths program in Accra on Tuesday.

I-Maths is a mathematics program for young children, which is designed according to the pattern, of how children learn to understand mathematical concepts.

Through I-Maths, children learn to understand their world in terms of numbers and shapes, and to connect ideas to reason and think logically.

She said it was often difficult for most children in school to learn and apply the basic rudiments of mathematics.

“The teaching of mathematics in the early days of schooling may be neglecting the training for creative thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills that are required for the comprehension of mathematical principles."

Mrs. Gyedu-Nuako said the current methods of teaching mathematics only geared students towards mechanical or straight forward calculation techniques.

She said I-Maths provided a teaching method which emphasized the training for creative thinking and problem solving skills, "rather than the mechanical training mentioned earlier".

Mrs. Gyedu-Nuako urged parents and teachers to be patient with weaknesses which children show while they learn.

“When a child gives a wrong answer while learning, do not insult or make the child feel bad. A child cannot be as intelligent as you the adult. You need to go the extra mile to understand children and help them enjoy the learning process."

Prof. Dr. Dino Wong, Founder and Chairman of Universal Concept Mental Arithmetic System(UCMAS), initiators of the program, who launched the program, said mathematics should be taught in a simple but concise way, "where the learning of mathematics is a subject to look forward to and not a phobia".

He said a group of mathematicians were made to study and design a complete mathematics program and after years of research, came up with the I-Maths young Children Creative Mathematics Program.

Prof. Wong said the I-Maths content included various exercises that enhanced the ability of the child to think, observe, focus and solve problems from different directions.

He said countries that were known for being good in mathematics, such as China, Singapore and India had all embraced I-Maths. "I will give my full support to ensure that all the aims of this program are met," said Prof Wong.

An educational group and a partner in the educational system in Ghana, UCMAS Ghana Limited, has been carrying out research in the area of providing a complete training program for children of three to six years, in terms of all thinking skills and analysing techniques, required by the principles of mathematics.

I-Maths, a young children's creative mathematics program, is currently one of the most influential courses being promoted in Ghana by UCMAS Ghana Limited.