By ImamMalik Abdullahi Kaga
Many students across Nigerian schools hate the king of subjects – mathematics. Mathematics is a subject that has application in most things, if not everything, in our life. Yet it is loved by few. Why?
The application of mathematics is there in every aspect of our life. Mathematics is crucial for industries, artisans, doctors, engineers, and many others. Yet, despite the vast and promising applications of the subject in our day-to-day activities, many students find it uninteresting. However, as a 200-level student, it is among the most straightforward and exciting subjects I enjoy. The reasons for the aversion towards mathematics include the teachers’ teaching methodology, students’ attitude towards the subject, poor reading culture, and lure of peer mates.
Some teachers (trained ones) employed to teach this almighty subject do not teach from the background. On the other hand, some are not trained and qualified to teach the subject. We cannot deny the fact that not all that are practising the noble profession of teaching are teachers. The majority have found themselves in the cause accidentally. This results in their inability to carry out the job correctly. It is becoming rare seeing a well-trained mathematics graduate teaching the students because the untrained ones are displacing them. And this applies not only to mathematics but to other subjects too. It is worrisome to notice that most of our schools produce students with a minimal or poor background in mathematics. The truth is that our schools are invaded by non-professionals parading themselves as teachers.
Students’ lack of seriousness and keenness on the subject cannot be over-emphasized. In this world of technology, students face many distractions which cause hindrances to their studies. Students nowadays are addicted to phones. They prefer surfing the internet and social media, playing games, watching the so-called series films, listening to music to devoting time to practising the subject. With this attitude, no student will perform excellently in this subject because mathematics requires constant practice.
These days, students are not keen on their studies, so they barely read their books. In the past, students worked hard; some even read harder than their teachers. This helped them understand mathematics and other subjects, and then a holistic knowledge and solid background. Ours is entirely different. We hardly ever find students that have devoted keen interest in reading the subject in the six-year academic program at the secondary level. Still, they expect to score a credit pass in the subject.
In some instances, fellow students discourage others in their crew from being focused on the study of mathematics in our schools. Some of the students in question, either out of sheer laziness or fear, would not devote their time and energy to the subject, which is one of the reasons for the mass failure in the subject in recent times. It is a fact that once a student hates a topic, he will equally hate the teacher, resulting in a large group of students who develop an aversion toward learning the subject. Another disturbing aspect is the influence of peer groups that lure others who might have an interest in this subject to go to games, parties and others. This has ignited lugubrious discouragement to others.
Another disturbing aspect is the kind of textbooks used in schools. Unemployed folks searching for jobs plagiarize the works of hardworking researchers and sell them to schools. You will believe me that the books in circulation in various schools are full of silly pictures instead of extensive clarifications about the topics contained.
ImamMalik Abdullahi Kaga wrote from Borno State University via firstname.lastname@example.org.