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General News of Thursday, 11 August 2016

Source: Class FM

Stimulate students' interest in Maths - Lecturer tells teachers

In order to improve on students’ performance in mathematics in Ghana, there is the need for teachers to encourage students to have interest in the subject, Dr. Jonathan Annan, a senior lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has said.

His comments come on the back of poor performances by students in this year’s West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) as announced by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

According to WAEC, only 53.19 per cent of students who sat for the WASSCE passed in English, with 32.83% passing in Core Mathematics. Additionally, only 48.48% of students secured passes in Integrated Science. It has emerged that less than half of the 247,262 students who sat for the examination obtained the minimum grades to gain admission into tertiary institutions.

Delving into the issue of the high failure rate in mathematics on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM Thursday August 11, Dr Annan said unlike countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, which lead in mathematics education due to retraining of teachers, the adoption of practical teaching methods, and government support, teachers in Ghana do not make the subject of mathematics practicable.

According to him, there is the need to shift attention from just the theoretical aspect of mathematics to the use of teaching aids to demonstrate the reality of the topics under the subject. “If you are teaching a topic such as Graph of Relation, there is the need to use graph sheets to teach the students. In the event that you do not have graph sheets, you can demonstrate it on the board for the students to appreciate the topic. That means you the teacher must prepare adequately,” he told host Chief Jerry Forson.

Dr. Annan further indicated that the fear of mathematics among students was a factor for the poor performance in the subject. “Phobia for mathematics [is a factor], almost every child thinks mathematics is difficult, so they do not prepare their minds for it, [hence] teachers must motivate the students to have interest in mathematics,” he added.

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