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Experts hail Cowbellpedia at 20, link students’ low interest in Mathematics to poor teaching

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Shortage of qualified mathematics’ teachers, poor facilities, inadequate equipment and instructional materials have been identified as factors encumbering students’ interest in Mathematics in Nigeria.

The experts made this submission during the maiden edition of Cowbellpedia Academy, which kicked off in Lagos last week.

As they dissected various ways to sustain interest in the subject among teachers and students, the experts hailed Cowbellpedia Academy as it marks its 20th anniversary of Cowbell and mathematics in Nigeria.

Cowbellpedia Academy, an initiative of Cowbell Milk, the flagship product from Promasidor Nigeria Limited, was conceived to drive support and interest in Mathematics, attracting outstanding Nigerian students and their teachers.

One of the facilitators in the Lagos center, Bernardo Raceman Santos, a Mathematics lecturer from the Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia, affirmed that the major problem of Mathematics education was due to bad teaching.

He explained that the best approach to teach the subject is to let the learner or student see its beauty.

“Students run from Mathematics because they are asked to memorise formulas, follow procedures and instructions. But Mathematics is more about discovery, asking questions, contemplating and curiosity,” he said.

He added that the best way to retain the best brain to teach Mathematics is to catch them young as Cowbell is doing, stating that the society must continue to emphasise the need for Mathematics and Mathematicians.

Another facilitator, Karam Aloui, who teaches Mathematics at the University of Spax, Tunisia, insisted that, “Mathematics calls everything in our life and it is very interesting.”

He advised teachers to look at the subject as a recreation, instead of seeing it as a task.

“Teachers should imbibe the approach of letting students think as freely as possible, instead of hammering strictly on curriculum and school’s doctrine,” Aloui said.

Samson Adewale, one of the teachers at the Academy, praised Cowbell Milk the flagship product from Promasidor Nigeria Limited for the unique opportunity and promised to take the learning back to his school.

Adewale, who teaches at Future Heritage High School, Ota, Ogun State, advised his colleagues to allow students discover themselves in a way that they would remember what they had learnt.

The Academy, which will be held for three days in each of the selected centres across the country, is tailored towards exposing 500 students and 50 teachers per location to various teaching and learning techniques in achieving, sustaining and managing academic feats especially in Mathematics.

Topics to be examined by the facilitators will include Exploratory Mathematics, Foundation of Problem Solving, Engineering, Computer Programming and Design. Others are: Art of Problem Solving, Geometry, Number Theory, Design Thinking, Recreational Mathematics and Problem Solving.

After the Lagos debut, the train of the Cowbellpedia Academy moves to Port Harcourt and Abuja.


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