The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Ghana (AIMS-Ghana) is offering training for 256 Basic School Mathematics Teachers from five District of the Central Region, as part of a nationwide programme.
It is aimed at equipping them with the necessary modern teaching methodologies and principles to promote the teaching of the subject to minimise its high failure rate at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
The programme, sponsorship by the Government, through the Ministry of Education and AIMS-Ghana, has the objective of demystifying Mathematics as a difficult subject reserved for only brainy persons.
It is also to encourage students, particularly females, to take up Mathematics-related careers The beneficiary districts are Komenda-Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA), Cape Coast Metropolis, Mfantsiman, Ekumfi and Abura Asebu Kwamankese.
Speaking at the opening of the five-day training programme at Elmina, Professor Emmanuel Kwame Essel, the Academic Affairs Director of AIMS, said many pupils failed Mathematics because of the poor Methodologies used by teachers at the basic level.
Prof. Essel said most Mathematics teachers were deficient in many mathematical areas and they were thus un able to effectively teach the subject either because they had either failed the subject themselves at the senior secondary level; or they did not have any interest in the subject.
He said there was the need to ensure that every basic school teacher had core competencies in teaching Mathematics, General Science and Information and Communication Technology to be able to prepare the pupils for higher practical courses in the future.
Prof Essel said the current situation was worrying because Mathematics was a significant and logical avenue for explaining physical phenomena towards solving human needs, especially Africaâ€™s developmental challenges.
The subject, he said, should, therefore, not be treated anyhow, but be given the highest level of commitment and promotion. As another remedy, he said, the Government should sponsor students who got good grades in Mathematics at the various teacher training institutions to ensure that quality Mathematics teachers were produced to teach and to sustain the interest of the younger generation in the subject.
He said that was why AIMS-Ghana was committed to liaising with all stakeholders in Education to raise the interest of pupils in learning the subject. He said since the inception of its Masters’ programme in 2012, AIMS had graduated 106 students in the Mathematical Sciences, explaining that it was a feat unrivalled by the public universities in in the country.
Mr. Abaidoo Adentwi Edzii, the KEEA Municipal Director of Education, expressed appreciation to AIMS-Ghana for choosing the Municipality for the pilot project, and pledged his outfitâ€™s support towards its success. He described as “unfortunate” the fact that teaching and learning of Mathematics had become difficult due to the phobia surrounding it.
The participants would be taken through topics such as Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching, Technology in the Classroom, Using Excel to Teach, Collection and Handling of Data and many others.