Government blames mass failure in mathematics on poor teaching
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has said that the generally poor performance of secondary school pupils in Mathematics examinations in recent times is due to poor teaching and lack of adequate infrastructure.Adamu stated this at the National Mathematical Centres’s public presentation of the digital mathematics network, a project designed to aid the use of videos on mobile phones, external hard drives and the internet for teaching and learning of mathematics.
The minister, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sonny Echono, added that the Federal Government had made efforts to make the study of mathematics attractive to school pupils through innovations by the NMC.
He said, “For many years, we have been having the challenge of poor results in our examinations, particularly in mathematics. This is attested to by those who monitor the West African Senior Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the National Examination Council (NECO). There is a decline in the performance of pupils in the subject.
“We have attributed the mass failure in the subject in recent times, to lack of teachers. Also, there is the inability of parents to purchase the relevant textbooks for children. At other times, the poor reading culture is responsible. Also, there is the problem of inadequate infrastructure and poor library facilities in schools, as well as lack of Information and Communication Technology gadgets to worry about.
“This is why the Federal Government believes the digital mathematics network project will make the study of Mathematics more attractive to pupils. Also, the curriculum for both primary and secondary schools has been integrated into this project. So, we shall be directing the 104 Federal Government colleges to key into this project and we encourage private primary and secondary schools to do same.”
Chief Executive Officer of the centre, Prof. Stephen Onah, said the project covered all topics in the current Nigerian mathematics curriculum from junior secondary to senior secondary school. Onah noted that the videos also included answers to some WASSCE questions for the past 10 years, which would be a “unique teaching and learning resource for mathematics.”
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