a professor of Mathematics, Michael Alonge, has identified recruitment of unqualified teachers as a major cause of lack of interest in the subject in private and public schools.
He also identified proper preparation by teachers, continuous assessment of students, giving of assignments, adequate lesson notes and adoption of modern teaching models to stimulate students’ interest.
Alonge last weekend at the first public lecture to mark the maiden matriculation of new students of Ajayi Polytechnic, Ikere-Ekiti in Ekiti State.
The lecture was entitled: “Teaching and Assessment Strategies in Mathematics as Panacea for Technological and Entrepreneurship Developments.”
Alonge, who stressed that teachers who studied Mathematics as a major course in the universities and colleges of education should be employed as teachers. He decried a situation where individuals who did not study the subject were employed to teach it.
The don also suggested that Mathematics teachers should be allowed to move to the next class with their students for synergy and proper monitoring, adding that such teachers would impart knowledge better.
According to him, proper attention to Mathematics would accelerate the nation’s quest for technological development and nation building.
Alonge said: “The knowledge of Mathematics plays a major role in nation building. Today, many students in the country have no interest in the subject because of the wrong approach to teaching it.
“Schools and government must ensure that only teachers who have been trained mainly in Mathematics that teach the subjects.
“Teachers shouldn’t mark down students for not getting the final answer. Award marks for correct steps taken by students who didn’t getfinal answer in the mathematical calculations.”
He added:”There is also the need for schools to ensure that teachers of Mathematics graduate with their students to their next class. If a teacher has taught the Class One this session, he should teach same class of students when they get to Class Two.
“That way, he is better to impart the knowledge because he has already known the challenges of the students in understanding the subjects.”
An educationist from the Republic of Ireland, Dr. Lucia Valente, harped on the use of technology to impart knowledge in Mathematics as done in advanced countries.
Valente, who is the founder, Computational Class Notes in the Irish Republic, spoke on the use of cloud technology and other modern ways of teaching the subject.
She said: “The system, cloud technology, is designed to work with educators in ensuring effective teaching of Mathematics in colleges; it is practice based.
“The students keep practising until they get it. It increases their grades as it lays emphasis on homework. It is possible to increase student’s grade with constant practice.
“It is based on visualisation, animation and unlimited variation, self learning, no text books, practice all the time.
“It enhances time utilisation, decrease drop out, increase grades and encourages tangible knowledge, gives students confidence and make them to believe in themselves which are principles for educators.”
The Founder/Rector, Ajayi Polytechnic, Dr. Busayo Ajayi, said the two scholars were chosen to speak on the subject because of the impact they had made in the field, noting that students and members of the public benefited from their knowledge.
He explained that the vision of the polytechnic was to train and produce technical and skilled manpower that would become industrial giants and providers of solutions to the nation’s problems.
According to him, the private polytechnic was established to empower the youths with inclusive and entrepreneurship and innovative technological education to solve the problem of graduate unemployment in the country.
Ajayi said: “Our philosophy in the school is to ensure that we produce graduates that are not only employable, but can become entrepreneurs by starting on their own.
“Thus is lacking in Nigerian education system and has led to mass unemployment. We also want a system that we can teach students better with the use of recent technological advancement.”
Dignitaries at the event included the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado; the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti and Chairman of the state Council of Oba, Oba Michael Oluwole Ademolaju and Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jide Egunjobi.