Ministry of Education to transform teaching of mathematics—Dr Adutwum

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education, has pledged to collaborate with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Ghana and other mathematics institutions to seriously transform the teaching of the subject and make it more practical and lovely.

Dr Adutwum said the contributions of AIMS would be a strong foundation to empower prospective and maths teachers to be professional, identify the challenges and needs of the students and respond accordingly.

The Minister said this in Accra on a virtual platform to commemorate International Day of Mathematics organised by AIMS Ghana on the theme: “Mathematics for a Better World”.

He said the government had invested and prioritised the study of Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics (STEM) to encourage students to focus more on the sciences subjects and improve the country’s growth.

“Government believes that if we enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics, the country’s socio-economic development will be enhanced to the fullest”.

He encouraged mathematics teachers to help demystify the notion that mathematics is difficult and encouraged students to appreciate the importance of the subject for national development.

Dr Adutwum underscored the importance of mathematics in the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that mathematics models have been used to understand the rate of spread for the virus and the two-metre social distancing.

He assured AIMS of the Ministry’s support to encourage students to appreciate that mathematics was not an enemy but a friend.

“Mathematics is everything around us but unfortunately there has been a misconception about the subject being difficult. I think mathematics is the easiest subject in the world because everything about us revolves around it”.

He commended all mathematicians in the country and across the globe in ensuring that children acquire the necessary tools and understanding of the subject to contribute to national development.

Dr Abdourahamane Diallo, the Head of UNESCO Accra Office, commended AIMS for organising the event to create awareness about the importance of mathematics, saying Scientists have been guided by statistics to predict the evolution of happenings.

He said UNESCO would continue to support activities geared towards the promotion and study of mathematics and urged tertiary institutions to intensify efforts to address issues of stereotypes on the subject.

Dr Prince Koree Osei, President of AIMS Ghana, touching on the theme, said it was clear that mathematicians develop foundational abstract ideas, and models used to solve problems of nature, adding the need to explore ideas and make the world a better place.

He said the Institute was the first non-profit Pan-African Centres of Excellence for postgraduate training, research, teacher training and public engagement in Mathematics and the Allied Sciences.

In a panel discussion, some participants and students of mathematics said the role of mathematics had helped researchers to proffer advice to authorities on the need to institute a lockdown during the increasing rate of COVID-19.

Some advised mathematics teachers to begin teaching students the application of mathematical models and how it was transferred into theory for better comprehension of the subject and not the other way around.

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