The Department of Mathematics Education (DME), Faculty of Applied Sciences and Mathematics Education (FASME) of the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED), has organised a two-day workshop for Basic School Mathematics Teachers in the Kwadaso Municipality of the Ashanti Region.
The workshop, held under the theme: “Empowering Mathematics Teachers with Modern Pedagogical Strategies in Mathematics Education,” exposed the participants to some of the modern strategies available to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics.
The Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James Kagya-Agyemang, delivering the welcome speech during the opening session on September 6, 2021, on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of AAMUSTED, Prof. Frederick K. Sarfo, expressed optimism about the mathematics teaching improving in the Municipality as a result of the workshop.
He, thus, encouraged the participants to take full advantage of the workshop to add to their knowledge in Mathematics and improve their approaches to teaching the subject. Beyond the workshop, Prof. Kagya-Agyemang asked the participants to be good ambassadors for AAMUSTED and make the University their preferred choice for further studies should they decide to continue their education.
He also appealed to the participants to help disabuse the minds of school pupils of the erroneous perception that TVET is for the unintelligent. He stressed, “Make them aware that TVET is the crucial way out of the country’s unemployment situation and poverty and that they can secure their future if they acquire a technical and vocational skill.”
The former Dean of the Faculty of Science Education (FSE) of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Prof. Samuel Kwesi Asiedu-Addo, elaborated the need for the government, parents, students, and teachers to own up to their respective roles in the education of the youth to reap optimal returns. He was delivering the keynote address at the workshop.
Particularly on teachers, Prof. Asiedu-Addo urged to master the content and pedagogical knowledge of the subject. That he said would give them the confidence to deliver in the classroom. He asked the teachers to use different approaches to teach the same topics to engender a better understanding of the concepts taught among the students.
“There is no need to intimidate and punish students because they are having difficulty giving a correct answer to a question,” he advised and encouraged the teachers to adopt an approach that is more empathetic and encouraging in their teaching. That way, we shall overcome the phobia that currently characterizes the teaching and learning of mathematics in the country.
The Dean of FASME, Prof. Steven Jobson Mitchual, who chaired the workshop, bemoaned the unimpressive results that are frequently churned out in the WASSSCE and BECE mathematics by students in the Kwadaso Municipality.
Backing the concern expressed with the pass rate statistics of students in mathematics from 2015 to 2020 (it showed that the pass rate was often less than 50 percent), he stressed the need for persistent interventions to improve performance in the subject.
“This is important because mathematics is the bedrock for successful learning of all programmes; indeed, mathematics is everywhere,” he added.
The Kwadaso Municipal Director of Education, Mrs. Grace Ofosu-Boateng, thanked the Management of AAMUSTED, FASME, and the DME for organising the workshop which in her view, would change the face of mathematics in the Municipality.
She said the Education Directorate has been concerned about the poor performance in mathematics in the WASSCE and BECE and therefore described the workshop as timely.
She hoped that the workshop would lead to improved performance of students in mathematics and therefore appealed to the AAMUSTED Management to make it an annual affair.
The workshop offered the platform, among other things, for capacity building in content delivery strategies, equipped the participants with the tools necessary for ICT integration in the teaching and learning of mathematics, and data management.