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Monday, 8 September 2014

Vice Chancellor seeks review of mathematics curriculum

WorldStage Newsonline-- The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof AbdulGaniyu Ambali has called for a review in the patterns of instruction/teaching, methodology, curriculum and assessment to ensure academic excellence in mathematics.

Speaking in Ilorin  at the 51st Annual Conference of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN), hosted by UNILORIN, Prof. Ambali decried the failure recorded by students in the recently released West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) May/June 2014 examinations results where about 70 per cent of the candidates failed to obtain the required credit pass in five subjects including Mathematics and English Language.

He described mathematics as an indispensable subject, without which no nation could contemplate progress or development.

In his address, “Real Deal: Mathematics Education for Sustainable Development”, the vice chancellor said that “mathematics is important in shaping our everyday life and development”, stressing that the subject is critical to the survival of the world today and the future generations.

 “There is no other proof to show that the convocation of this conference is in the national interest, not the Mathematical Association alone. And I want to commend the association for responding quickly, through this conference, to this downward trend in students' performance in Mathematics specifically and other subjects at large.”

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He pointed out that mathematics education is facing serious challenges, which largely account for the poor performance of students in it every year.

The professor of veterinary medicine noted that “mathematical skills are no doubt relevant to a wide range of analytical, technological, scientific, security, political and economic applications and there is no doubt that a solid foundation in Mathematics prepares one for other educational and professional challenges.”

He suggested that interactive and functional ways of teaching Mathematics should be developed so that students would naturally love it, not dread it, pointing out that it will be a delight “if the failure rate in mathematics in the public examinations reduces next year based on the strategies arrived at this conference.”

In his remarks, the conference chairman and Director General of the National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Abuja, Prof. A. R. T. Solarin, stated that mathematics is the bedrock of life, which is a most basic requirement for all students. He urged teachers to remove students' phobia for Mathematics.

Represented by Deputy Director, Prof. Peter Onumanyi he assured the association of NMC's continued support.

He announced various scholarship and awards to the tune of N18 million to promote the study of mathematics. He also announced the distribution of tones of mathematics text books after the conference.

The President of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria, Prof. (Lady) Uche Agwagah, also submitted that Mathematics is an indispensable knowledge, describing the subject as “the builder of modern civilization”.

Prof. Agwagah maintained that mathematical education would enhance citizens' capacity to tackle national challenges, urging members of the Association to make useful contributions in the course of the conference.

The Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Saka Onimago, said that the conference would give opportunity to refocus on data gathering for development.

He explainedthat empirical-based evidence approach to planning is critical to physical planning, and charged the teachers to make mathematics and Statistics more appealing to students.

Resource: Vice Chancellor seeks review of mathematics curriculum
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