Afedzi Abdullah, GNA
Biriwa (C/R), Aug. 07, GNA – The fourth edition of the Professor Allotey Maths Camp has opened in Biriwa in the Central Region with a call on mathematics educators to make the learning experience of the subject more practical and real for students rather than focusing on passing examinations.
The one-week camp is aimed at developing problem solving skills through mathematical activities, games and puzzles to equip senior and junior high school students with practical knowledge and approach to the study of the subject to directly impact their lives.
It is being organised under the sponsorship of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Ghana and the AIMS Ghana Research Centre, Supporting African Maths Initiative (SAMI) and the African Maths Initiative (AMI).
Participants would experience a computer-based environment with the latest mathematical software, meet mathematics teachers, lecturers and researchers from Ghana and beyond and discover ways the subject was being used in the other parts of the World to solve problems.
It is being attended by over 50 junior and second cycle students and teachers from across Ghana and 25 volunteers from Africa, Asia and Europe and would engage in using games, computing and other creative materials to learn mathematics.
The Maths Camp would also give teachers an opportunity to realise and understand the power of mathematics by looking beyond the curriculum as they would be exposed to a more proactive teaching and learning activities and the use of ICT to help students learn mathematics in an exciting way.
Speaking at the opening, Mrs Lucy Quist, President of AIMS Ghana, underscored the need to encourage students to learn mathematics and apply it in their everyday lives and not see it as just a requirement for one’s academic progression.
She explained that the camp seeks to make mathematics more practical and real for the participating students such that the skills acquired could be applied to the learning of other subjects.
She said because students were taught mainly to pass their examinations, it became difficult for them to understand and appreciate how to apply the principles of mathematics in dealing with everyday life situations.
Professor Emmanuel Essel, Head of Mathematics Department, University of Cape Coast (UCC), noted that every mathematics topic had practical application in everyday life.
He said quadratic equations, matrix and vectors were useful mathematics principles that could be used in engineering, agriculture and tourism respectively.
Mr Jeff Goodman, Director of SAMI said Africa needed people with strong mathematical skills and critical minds to solve its problems.
He encouraged the participants to make the best out of the opportunity to equip themselves with mathematical skills, be critical thinkers and proactive to solve life problems.
The idea of the Allotey Maths Camp, previously known as the Ghana Maths Camp, came from a group of AIMS Ghana students, who were eager to share their experiences with school children as championed by the late Professor Allotey, a renowned mathematician.