Sunday, 19 October 2014

Nokia Mobile-Mathematics: A solution for mathematic failure in Tanzania?

It is obvious that mathematics failure in Tanzania has been serious problems for years.There are different arguments about why there is poor results in Mathematics for Tanzanian students.

Some people say,pupils fail because of unqualified teachers. Others say,the subject itself is very difficult with complications in principles and calculations.

All in all we can’t deny the fact that Mathematic is a catalyst in every science combination. There is no Science without Mathematics. Mathematics is a key subject in science courses,we need to do different strategies to teach this subject,thanks for the  Nokia Mobile-Mathematics,a program which has been officially launched recently at the Commission for Science and Technology(COSTECH).

Nokia mobile Mathematics program is an innovative service that offers assistance in learning and teaching mathematics. The program composes of secondary school mathematics curriculum with more than 9000 exercises, examples and theory notes.

It also includes competitions and self assessment tests.The program which is facilitated by Nokia,Microsoft and Tigo has been launched after being successful in South Africa.

The program proposes an understanding of mathematics to teachers and students as well as to offer equal learning access in schools.

According to Nokia mobile mathematics project consultant Ms Riitta Vanska the project will start with up to 10 schools based in Dar es Salaam.

The Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) together with Ministry of Education will select the schools.  The Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) is working on localizing the content.

Ms Riitta Vanska says the program was first introduced in South Africa in 2008 and it has reached more than 60,000 learners in the Country.

Though environment for learning mathematics in Tanzania and South Africa can not be the same, to some extent this program can be very useful in our country as most of Tanzanian students prefer mobile phone applications.

Lilian Nganda is a Microsoft representative, She says the program has no intention of allowing Mobile phones in schools so that it can reduce concentration of studies to students.

She says, the program aims at giving possibility for learners to get additional help for their studies outside classrooms and outside school through a mobile device.

She insisted that there will be a special day in a week where trained teachers will allow students to take their mobile phones and practice the program.

Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Hon John Mgodo, declares that Nokia Mobile Mathematic is a great assistance to students who fail to understand mathematics inside their classrooms.

He says basic sciences are the foundation for the next generation of engineers and ICT professionals and you can’t opt for them without mathematics.

“I believe that the mastery of mathematics subject leads to the mastery of other science subjects including Physics, Chemistry and Biology’’ Hon Mgodo insists during the launching ceremony of the Program

Hon Mgodo adds that the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology is very committed to leverage the programme for sustainable mathematic learning in the country.

Telecommunication sector is undergoing drastic changes. With the uses of Mobile Phones to learn Mathematics, General Manager for Tigo Tanzania Mr Diego Gutierrez believes the Tanzanian country has a chance of doing wonders not only in mathematics but also in telecommunication industry.

Mr Gutierrez says his company is keen to support Government initiatives of supporting young people and Tanzanians who are interested in learning through mobile applications and internet services. He promises to continue providing free data for that program.

He also warns Tanzania students to make good use of Mobile phones and internet services. “Instead of spending high time chatting or texting, you better use the Nokia Mobile Mathematics for improving mathematics capabilities”, he urged.

Dr Hassan Mshinda, COSTECH’s Director General notes that the application can play a significant role in improving the education system in Tanzania and his commission will look for ways to motivate students to science subjects.

“Effective use of mobile application program can improve mathematic skills and eventually increase the number of scientists in the future,” he insisted
Tanzania is a second African country to introduce the Mobile Mathematic.

The same project started in South Africa in 2008 and it has reached more than 60,000 learners in the country.

In South Africa research shows that the competence levels of the users have improved for 14% compared to learners who were not using the service.

Learners interest towards Mathematics is growing, learners are more aware of their skills in Mathematics, teachers are more aware of their learners’ skills in the subject.

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