The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) has launched a Digital Mathematics Network (DIMANET) project to address deficiency in the learning and teaching of mathematics in Nigeria.
Prof. Stephen Onah, Director/Chief Executive, NMC, during the launching of DIMANET project in Abuja on Thursday, called for relevant stakeholders’ support to aid students in the learning of mathematics.
He explained that the project was aimed at using videos via mobile phones, large volume storage devices (external hard drives) DVDs, CDs and the internet for teaching and learning of mathematics.
Onah said that the project would also address inadequacies in the teaching and learning of mathematics, especially among young Nigerians by presenting mathematics in an electronic form.
According to him, by this students can stay longer hours at their convenience without getting bored and it is also affordable.
” It is an instructor-led training and will provide Nigerian secondary schools students the option of learning mathematics in an entirely more appealing and attractive way.
“The contents cover all the topics in the current Nigerian mathematics curriculum from Jss1 to SS3, the project also produced videos of solutions of some WAEC/NECO questions for the past ten years.
“This projects will aid in simplifying and encouraging young talents in the mathematical sciences; help in generating interest in students and also prepare Nigeria for a leading role in the mathematical sciences,” he said.
Onah said that this project would in turn help Nigeria to attain her rightful position in the world of advanced technology and also a vehicle for achieving the ministerial strategic plan of education for change of the Federal Ministry of Education.
The director said that the project would significantly improve the capacity of Nigerian students in mathematics and help in placing Nigeria on the trajectory of scientific and technological advancement in the committee of nations.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu commended the NMC for the innovation, saying ”the project is coming at a very critical time”.
Represented by Sunny Echono, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Adamu noted that over the years there had been poor results in mathematics examinations.
” Over the years we have seen poor performance in mathematics, so any attempt to simplify the learning of mathematics will be highly welcomed.
“We have attributed the mass failure in mathematics in recent time to lack of qualified teachers, sometimes inability of parents to purchase the relevant text books.
“And at other time it is attributed to decline in reading culture, inadequate infrastructure, we have in our schools such as dearth of classroom, low ICT, poor library and insufficient teachers particularly in mathematics”.
He said that the instructional materials and teaching aid project by NMC would make the learning of mathematics attractive as well as improve the teaching of mathematics in schools.
Adamu, therefore, said that all the 104 Federal Unity Schools across the country would be directed to adopt the project as a working tool, saying ” we believe in producing future youths that will be competitive”.
In his remarks, the Commissioner, ECOWAS Commission, Prof. Leopoldo Amado urged stakeholders to pay more attention to the young generations in order to give them the love of sciences and innovations particularly in mathematics.
He said that in primary and secondary schools, mathematics was often taught by rote learning methods that favour memorisation rather than critical analysis, independent thinking or creativity.
Amado explained that these were the real keys to excellence in mathematics and in science, saying that this rote way of teaching was not appropriate for the learning of mathematics by young people.
“By initiating a programme using IT and social networks, Nigeria wants to adapt new communication tools such as mobile phones and internet connections to the teaching of mathematics.
” The DIMANET project is in relations with the ECOWAS e-learning policy managed by the Department Education, Science and Culture,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director, China Cultural Centre in Nigeria, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy, Mr Li Xuda said that a good mastery of mathematics, physics and chemistry was a key to global success.
Li Xuda said that mathematics could be seen as the bedrock of sciences and technology.
He said that to improve its technological development, China has been attaching great importance to mathematics both in middle school, University and related research centre.
He, however, said that DIMANET project would greatly improve the capacity of Nigerian students in the learning of mathematics.