Don urges government, industries to fund research in mathematics
To leapfrog the nation into the frontier of scientific and technological advancement, illiteracy in contemporary mathematics must be addressed.
A professor of Mathematics, Samuel Iyase who disclosed this while delivering the 14th Inaugural Lecture of the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, urged the federal government to compel multinational companies to reserve a certain percentage of their profits to support research in mathematics and basic sciences, saying this would go a long way in developing the country.
Prof Iyase who spoke on the topic, “Mathematics: A platform for leapfrogging into scientific and technological advancement,” lamented that the absence of career guidance in secondary schools and tertiary institutions has led to its unpopularity saying the subject must be given a priority.
“To leapfrog Nigeria into scientific and technological advancement, there is the need to form a think-tank of top level mathematical professionals to offer advice on the domestic application and use of mathematical tools in solving problems in government, business and industry.
“The ministry of defence should emulate their counterparts in the scientific and technologically advanced nations by sponsoring top level mathematics research that relates to defence and the development of the country. It is obvious that no nation will lend its best manpower when it comes to security issues.
“The National Mathematical Centre in Abuja should be decentralised. Each state should have its own mathematics centre financed by both the state and the federal government.
There is the need to inject new and modern courses such as robotics, control theory, integral geometry, cryptology, signal processing in our mathematics curriculum especially at the postgraduate level. Efforts should be made to attract experts in these fields to teach in our universities.”
He also urged the government to take a cue from other developed countries of the world and allocate more funds for research.“We need leaders who have a bold and long -term vision of the role of education in our society and economy. There is the need to emphasise the strong link between education and economic development. This will lead to the placing of education as a priority. This in turn will lead to the production of high-quality mathematics and science professionals.
“In Nigeria there is an enormous gap between policies and their implementation at the school level. It is necessary that whenever a policy is developed or changed there should be attention to the details of implementation from the ministries of education to the principals and teachers.”Earlier, the institution’s vice chancellor, Prof. Aaron Atayero had tasked participants to proffer solutions to some of the nation’s challenges.
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