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Diasporian News of Sunday, 19 February 2006

Source: George Kwaku Doe (

Ghanaian Graduate student hits the headlines in the US.

Ahmed Amihere, a graduate student from Ghana on Fulbright scholarship currently working on his master?s degree in Mathematics and Education at Ohio University made a headlines news of ?The Athens Messenger?, a daily news newspaper published in the Athens County in the State of Ohio. The news was captioned; ?Grad Student makes math magical? and it appeared in the last Thursday issue of the paper with Matt Gallagher as the writer.

Amihere according to the paper used what he had learned in his graduate class to teach kids of East Elementary School of Athens. The technique he employed was teaching the pupils the concept behind the math rather than rote formulas. Ahmed gets the kids to understand the ?why? behind the each mathematical problem. He uses charts that he had made to make mathematics a game and unwrap the mystery behind mathematical concepts, reaching beyond the formulas and steps described in textbooks to show the reasoning behind the numbers. According to Ahmed Amihere, ?These charts teach students to see beyond the rules and help them to explore mathematics in a new way?, he further stressed that, ?Once the pupils learn the concepts, they can push beyond the rules and bring their own ideas into the equations... Once they learn the underlying concepts, they can apply the mathematics to all situations.? In achieving his objectives in class, Amihere often uses patterns and artworks found in Ghana to show that math can be applied to shapes and designs that go beyond numbers. Amihere who has volunteered to be teaching at the East Elementary School as a result of a partnership between the school and Ohio University College of Education. He meets his fifth grade class twice a week. This contact is also making him to get a first hand perspective of the classroom situation in the United States. Comparing classroom situation in both Ghana and the US, Amihere has this to say, ?In classes in Ghana, kids have to keep quiet, but here in the US kids can ask questions and share a more open dialogue with the teacher.? Maria Frecker the class teacher has this to say about the teaching techniques of Ahmed Amihere, ?He has a way of presenting the concepts that impresses the kids. The kids take the math charts home with them and take math beyond the walls of the classroom. They have so much fun playing with the numbers that they don?t even realize they are learning.?

Amihere Ahmed who hails from the Western Region of Ghana had his elementary education at Abura in the Ahanta West District. After which he spent two years with his uncle in apprenticeship aimed at becoming a carpenter. As destined, he had a slim opportunity which made him to further his education by gaining admission to St. Mary Secondary School at Apowa near Takoradi for the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (GCE ?O? Level). He had his Advanced Level (GCE ?A? Level) at Nsein Secondary at Axim, where he studied Biology, Physics and Chemistry. His initial professional training as a teacher was at Komenda Training College from 1990-1993. After teaching for four years he was admitted into the University of Education- Winneba in 1997, where for a period of four years worked for the award of a Diploma in Mathematics Education and a Bachelor in Mathematics Education.

Currently Ahmed is in his final year of his master? program and expected to graduate within the next couple of months. When asked about his future plans, the shy looking ?Mathematics Magician?, just said ?I am aiming at a PhD program in Mathematics Education, after which I will go back to Ghana to help impact the knowledge that I have acquired?.