The National Mathematical Centre (NMC), says it is currently training Junior Secondary School students and mathematics teachers nationwide on mental arithmetic, to improve the learning of the subject in schools.
Mr Jekayinfa Olatunji, the Desk Officer on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), NMC, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja.
Olatunji said that it was imperative to train the students while still young in order to encourage them and capture their interest.
“In the National Mathematical Centre, one of our mandates is to prepare packages that will improve teaching and learning of mathematics across all levels of education.
“Mental arithmetic is part of the packages because we have discovered that students have lost interest in the learning of mathematics,” he said.
He said that the centre, through the support of the Federal Government, had embarked on training of no fewer than 120 students and 12 mathematics teachers selected from the three Senatorial Districts in Gombe State.
“We are organising a one-week training and we call it the nomenclature, mental arithmetic and mathematics improvement training for school students and mathematics teachers.
“We have conducted the same training in 32 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In each of the states, we have 120 selected students both from JS1 and JS2.
“The programme is termed “Catch them Young’’ and the idea is to get them to develop interest in the learning of the subject at tender ages.
“It will be difficult to change someone’s opinion when it is formed, but when you catch them at the junior level, the impact will be better,’’ he said.
Olatunji, however, appealed to the three tiers of government to encourage the centre through financial support to enable it train more students and mathematics teachers.
“If the centre has better funding, more students and mathematics teachers at all levels of education will benefit,’’ he said.