The Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Rivers State University(RSU), Nkpolu, Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Prof. Opuenebo Binya Owei, has called on members of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) to introduce measures that would regulate the teaching of Mathematics in both primary and secondary schools across the nation.
Making the call recently while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 56th Annual National Conference of MAN held at the Faculty of Law of the institution, Prof. Owei commended the leadership of MAN for choosing to be host for the 56th edition of the conference, noting that Mathematics has remained the mother of all science subjects, and that the course has been taught in the University since the institution was established as a College of Science and Technology.
She however, expressed worries that over the years, the enrolment of candidates in the study of Mathematics has been low due to perceived difficulties associated with the study of the course , adding that it was due to the poor teaching of the subject at the foundational levels where non-mathematics teachers are allowed to teach the subject in primary and secondary schools.
According to her, the trend is affecting the educational system, but that the situation can be corrected if MAN insists that only her members are allowed to teach Mathematics in primary and secondary schools, which, she said, is the practice in tertiary institutions.
In his speech, the National President of MAN, Prof. Mamman Musa, said the theme of the Conference which is “Mathematics and Entrepreneurship Education for National Development,” was carefully selected to merge with the focus of the Conference, which will highlight the roles played by mathematics towards the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills for the improvement of the society.
Prof. Musa stated that the outcome of the Conference will go a long way to address the challenges related to unemployment among Nigerian graduates, especially those who studied Mathematics.
Delivering the Keynote Address on the theme of the Conference, the representative of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa E.S Lale, defined Mathematics as “the science that deals with the logic of shape, quantity and arrangement. It is the building block for everything in our daily lives, including mobile devices, architecture (ancient and modern), art, money, engineering, and even sports.”
Represented at the occasion by Prof. Mary Paschal Iwundu, the UNIPORT VC noted that mathematics enhances all aspects of individuals to assist in solving problems and facilitates the rapid socio-economic growth and development, through accurate record keeping, national census and other economic indicators, which supports the planning and implementation of programmes by government and non-governmental organisations.
A total of 28 universities including university of Abuja ,attended the conference
Education: UNICEF Raises Fresh Concern Over Learning Crisis In Nigeria
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised a fresh concern over the learning crisis Nigeria is currently grappling with, urging stakeholders, particularly the government at all levels to, as a matter of priority, take stronger actions and commitments towards addressing the challenge.
The global agency noted that the crisis, particularly at the basic education level is stalling meaningful development in the country and globally by extension.
The Education Specialist, UNICEF Nigeria, Yetunde Oluwatosin, raised the concern at a two-day media dialogue organised by UNICEF Nigeria in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency, Lagos State, and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, recently.
The workshop with newsmen from print, broadcast and online media from the South-West region as participants, has “Turning the Tide on Nigeria’s Learning Crisis” as its theme.
Making a presentation and quoting from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), Oluwatosin disclosed that 73 per cent of Nigeria’s children, aged 10 years below, with the majority in the North and from the poorest families and in rural communities, were struggling to read or comprehend simple text, while an alarming nine out of every 10 children (90%) in sub-Saharan Africa generally were also confronting with learning difficulty.
She also noted that while only one out of 14 children between ages seven and 14 years could demonstrate fundamental skills, only 25 per cent have numeracy skills capable of solving simple mathematical problems.
Oluwatosin equally pointed out that although up to 73 per cent of Nigeria’s youths were literate, only seven per cent possessed the necessary ICT skills required for the digital economy while just eight per cent of children from the poorest families attend school compared to 78 per cent of their peers from the richest homes.
She said all these conditions, among others, are widening the inequality gaps between the children from the poorest homes and those from the richest families and also between those living in urban and rural communities.
She therefore recommended that the trend would need to be reversed otherwise it would be difficult to lift many children and young adults in the country out of extreme poverty and also out of criminal activities.
She, however, attributed the crises to a number of factors including limited infrastructure, inadequate funding, gender parity, shortage of qualified teachers, poor delivery system, and insufficient learning data and materials, among others.
She emphasised UNICEF’s efforts in filling the gap in a way it can including provision of learning materials for over 1.8 million children between 2018 and 2022 and further plans to reach another 4.8 million children primarily in the North, by 2027.
NUT Reacts To Threat By RSG On Penalisation Of Public Schools Principals, Head Teachers
Threat by the Commissioner, Rivers State Ministry of Education, Prof Chinedu Mmom to sack Head Teachers and Principals who contravene government policies on free education has generated more reactions.
Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Rivers State, Mr Collins Echikpu has said the principals in public schools are facing challenges that are drastically affecting the smooth running of the school administration due to lack of payment of impress by the ministry.
Echikpu clarified that some of the levies collected from parents through their wards in these public schools were used in the day to day running of the school activities.
The NUT chairman called on the state government to implement the promotion of teachers, so as to improve their efficiency and effective service delivery.
“We expect the state government to do the needful by implementing the promotion of teachers so as to encourage them to efficiently and effectively discharge their duties as expected”, Collins said.
Meanwhile, some Head Teachers in the public schools in Rivers State are calling for proper management of teachers in the state.
Some of the Head Teachers who spoke during a meeting with the Commissioner for Education in Rivers State, said lack of proper management of teachers in the public schools is responsible for the challenges facing the education sector in the state.
RSG Set To Penalise Public Schools Extorting Students
Rivers State Ministry of Education has warned principals in public schools against extortion of fees from parents whose wards are in the public schools in the state.
Commissioner for Education in Rivers State, Professor Chinedu Mmom issued the warning during a meeting with Principals of public schools held in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Mmom regretted that despite efforts by the current administration to provide education at zero cost for students in the state, some principals in the public schools have devised ways to extort money from parents.
“Despite efforts by the current administration, some of the public schools are still bent on frustrating efforts put in by this administration to achieve zero extortion and free education in the state,” he said.
He cautioned school principals against sabotaging the efforts of government as anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
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