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General News of Thursday, 11 August 2016

Source: Class FM

WASSCE: Phobia to blame for huge failure in maths - Nsowah

The mass failure of students in mathematics in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) should be blamed on students’ fear of the subject, Michael Nsowah, a former Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), has said.

Results of the 2016 WASSCE were announced by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) on Tuesday August 9. According to WAEC, only 53.19% of students who sat for the WASSCE passed in English; with only 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.

Speaking on Accra News on Wednesday, 10 August, Mr Nsowah attributed the huge failure in mathematics to the attitude of students towards the subject.

“The failure can be attributed to phobia for mathematics. Before going to school, the students already have in their minds that the subject is difficult and, so, in spite of the efforts of the teacher to help them, they have their minds closed to the subject,” he said.

“Some students would have even wished that mathematics was not a compulsory subject, but there is no way you can avoid mathematics.”

In order to deal with the problem of failure in the subject, Mr Nsowah said teachers would need to spend more time to assist students who are weak in the subject as a result of frustration.

Further, he said there was the need for the strengthening of the support system for teachers in Ghana, including retraining them.

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