Nine firms support Free SHS with core maths books

Serwah Opoku-Fosu (third from left) presenting the books to Dr. Prempeh.

Serwah Opoku-Fosu (third from left) presenting the books to Dr. Prempeh.

The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on Monday suggested that mathematics be taught in a practical way to reflect the way Ghanaians use the subject in everyday life.

 

That, according to him, would encourage all students to develop interest in studying mathematics and make it possible for the nation to reap benefits from the application of science, technology and mathematics.

 

He was speaking during the presentation of a new book titled ‘Core Mathematics Revision Guide for Senior High Schools’ to the Ministry of Education by nine firms that sponsored the publication of the book, in Accra.

The Minister of Education  explained that though numeracy played a functional role in Ghanaian culture the way mathematics was taught in schools made it difficult for the ordinary person to grasp it, leading to poor performance in examinations.

 

The firms that sponsored the publication are the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority which presented 10,000 books branded with its logo, Ghana Revenue Authority, 10,000 branded books, Heritage Bank, 5,000 branded books, Ghana Shippers Authority, 1,000 branded books, Ghana Maritime Authority, National Communication Authority, Deloitte and Touche, National Investment Bank and MFI.

 

Dr Prempeh said, the books were in line with government’s agenda of making mathematics a friendly subject and the favourite of all students.

 

“Soon we will conduct an assessment from the primary to the senior high level to determine the difficulty learners have with mathematics based on which appropriate changes will be made in the school curricula to redress them,” he said.

 

He encouraged students to study the book and keep them well so that their juniors could benefit from it.

 

Dr Prempeh thanked the companies for their support to the Free Senior High School programme and encouraged others to contribute to print more copies of the book.

 

The Public Relations and Marketing Manager of GPHA, Abena Serwah Opoku- Fosu, said the GPHA was delighted to contribute towards the project adding that it was her wish that some users of the book would be encouraged to join her outfit after their education.

 

Mr Alex K. Boateng, Project Team Leader- SourceOne Limited, said the core mathematics revision guide was meant to uplift the performance of core mathematics in Senior High Schools because the topics had been made simple, can be revised within a week and students had been advised on how to study and prepare for examinations among others.

 

He explained that the performance of students in Senior High School for the past six years had been discouraging.

 

“For instance, three years ago, 25.29 per cent of candidates who wrote the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination core mathematics paper obtained A1-C6, whereas 74.71 per cent obtained D7-F9, meaning 75 per cent of the candidates could not gain admission to tertiary institutions,” he said.

 

Mr  Boateng said in 2018, the results again showed a drop in performance from 42.73 per cent of candidates who obtained A1-C6 in 2017 to 38.33 per cent.

 

He said due to the worrying trend a team of four researchers from Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology led by Dr Jonathan Annan undertook a study at some selected senior high schools to investigate the causes leading to the poor performance in the core mathematics examinations.

 

Mr  Boateng said several factors came out but the key one was the lack of a comprehensive revision guide for the students, as it was difficult to revise the whole syllabus in the voluminous core mathematics textbooks within a month or three weeks to examinations.

 

He said the book was authored based on the research findings adding that the author, researchers, SourceOne Limited partnered with the Ministry of Education and the sponsors to ensure that every Senior High school student obtained a copy of the book free of charge.

 BY GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH

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