Department of Mathematics Education Launches Project to Mentor SHS Students
The Department of Mathematics Education, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), on Wednesday, 16th August, 2023, launched a project aimed at mentoring Senior High School (SHS) students in mathematics.
The project, dubbed “Mentoring the Next Generation”, was held under the theme “Using Mathematics as a Tool to Achieve Quality Education (SDG 4)”.
A Professor of Mathematics and Chairman of the Ceremony, Prof. Samuel Kwesi Asiedu-Addo, commended the project team for taking it upon themselves to change students' perceptions of mathematics as a challenging subject and inspire them to rather develop an interest in it. He expressed his unwavering commitment to helping the project meet its main objective and evolving it into something sustainable.
The Head of the Department of Mathematics Education, Dr. Jones Apawu, outlined that his outfit seeks to train competent graduate teachers capable of generating interest in the teaching and learning of mathematics and economics at the pre-tertiary level using ICT tools, conducting research in the field of mathematics, disseminating relevant knowledge, and influencing educational policy in mathematics, economics, and ICT education in fulfillment of the core values of UEW, which include service to the community and teamwork and partnership development.
He reiterated the idea that every nation benefits from having educated inhabitants. He claimed that education in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—had become essential to progress, and he added that science and technology could never be better understood without the study of mathematics.
"Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organises our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics plays a predominant role in our everyday lives and has become an indispensable tool for the progress of our present-day world," he noted.
Dr. Apawu underscored the relevance of mathematics in everyday life. He indicated that although the significance of mathematics could never be denied, a general fear of dealing with the subject exists among students and adults. He debunked the notion that mathematics is the driest subject at school, made up of routine, difficult, boring, arcane, and irrelevant calculations that have nothing to do with discovery and imagination.
He pointed out that the project is intended to help students erase their fear of mathematics, stimulate their passion, and inspire career choices in mathematics, thereby encouraging their enrollment in mathematics programmes, and facilitating their success in mathematics through effective support systems. It will also equip mathematics teachers with innovative pedagogical strategies through workshops and seminars to make the teaching and learning of mathematics interesting, as well as encourage female participation in the field.
The project lead and Head of the Department of Physics Education at UEW, Dr. Gloria Armah, emphasised the importance of mathematics for life and support for all-around personal development. She asserted that mathematics significantly influences pupils’ and students’ education, both in a special branch and in terms of moral education.
"Mathematics is vital to Ghana’s future development because it consists of a body of knowledge that attempts to explain and interpret phenomena and experiences. I, therefore, stand before you to talk about a subject that is not just integral to our education but also to our future as a society. This, therefore, makes the call for mentoring the next generation in mathematics an urgent one to be able to prepare young minds for action in shaping our future and together contribute to building the future of our motherland, Ghana," she averred.
Mr. Akwasi Addae Boahene from the Transforming Teaching Education and Learning (T-TEL) Ghana spoke on the topic of “Mathematics as a Tool to Achieve Quality Education (SDG 4) while the Director of the Ghana Statistical Services, Mrs. Abena Asamoabea Osei-Akoto, addressed participants on “Mentorship and Relevant Attitudes and Qualities for a Successful Career in Mathematics”.
Other key members of the “Mentoring the Next Generation” project team are Dr. Nana Akosua Owusu-Ansah, Ms. Matilda Sarpong Adusei and Ms. Dorcas Attuabea Addo.