Mrs. Patty Assan, the Director of Schools and Instructions, has urged students to constantly practice mathematics to eliminate the perceived fear associated with the subject.
“My dear learners, solving one mathematics problem a day keeps you closer to loving Mathematics,” she said.
Mrs Assan, speaking at an event to commemorate the National Mathematics Day in Accra said both the teacher factor and the learner factor were the two main areas to consider if “we needed to deal with this phobia. “
This year’s event, which was held virtually was on the theme: “Mathematics for a Better World.”
The National Mathematics Day, which should have been celebrated on February 14, 2021, had to be moved to Wednesday, February 17, 2021, since February 14 fell on a Sunday
February 14 every year is celebrated as St Valentine’s Day, where people show their love and affection for one another, however, the day has been adopted by the Ghana Education Service (GES) for students to show love for mathematics to help break the myth surrounding the subject which perceived as difficult by many students.
The Science Education Unit (National STEM Centre) of GES in collaboration with the Ghana Mathematics Society set aside February 14 of every year to be observed as National Mathematics Day.
The objective of celebrating the day is to raise awareness of the importance of Mathematics
Shs said the other factor that contributed to the phobia of mathematics was the learner factor, indicating that mathematics as a subject required constant practice.
“The more you practice, the more you know. The more you know, the confident you become and the fear is gone,” she added.
The Director said pedagogy used in teaching mathematics was key in demystifying, arousing and sustaining the interest of learners in grasping the concepts, methods and techniques in solving mathematical problems.
She said when basic mathematical concepts and skills were not taught well it became difficult to build on them, thereby making it difficult for learners to grasp complex ones which would lead to low self- confidence and a total fear of the subject.
She said sometimes some topics were more understood when different methods or approaches were used and students might invent their own arithmetic symbols or pictures or their own concepts through which they understood the topics.
“Usage of such tricks and approach by students are perfectly fine as the ultimate aim is to get oneself versed with the concept,” she said.
Mrs Assan said it was also essential that these concepts were linked to real life experiences as teachers teach so that learners would appreciate the fact that it forms an integral part of their survival as humans.
She said stakeholders had a common task towards making learners mathematically literate to ensure the sustainable social, economic and political development of the nation.
“It is against this background that we celebrate the National Mathematics Day and I believe that this year’s activities are going to help demystify the subject, arouse and sustain the interest of both teachers and learners as well as create an in-depth awareness of the importance of Mathematics for a better world,” she said.
Mrs Olivia Serwaa Opare, Director, Science Education Unit, GES, commended all Ghanaian Mathematicians and Mathematics teachers for their good work over the years, especially the late Professor Francis Allotey.
She also commend Professor Sitsofe Enyonam Anku for setting up the day for Ghanaian child to realise the importance of mathematics.
She expressed the hope that the perception of the subject mathematics would change going forward after listening to all the great presentations from the seasoned experts.
The Director said mathematics was life and the world was full of patterns and sequence, day and night, which were all been calculated.
“Everyone is a mathematician, because we deploy the concept of mathematics in our daily activities,” she added