PROBLEM AND PROSPECTS OF TEACHING FURTHER MATHEMATICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN CALABAR METROPOLIS
1.1 Background of the study
The role of Mathematics in any country growth cannot be overemphasized. According to Betiku (2001), Sciences, Technology and Mathematics Education (STME) have been universally regarded to be the barometer of assessing any nation’s social economic and geo-political growth. Mathematics is more than just the science of numbers taught by instructors in schools and either appreciated or hated by many pupils. It had a crucial influence in the live of person, the world and society as a whole. Mathematics is an essential discipline acknowledged internationally and it has to be enhanced in education to equip student with abilities necessary for completing further education or job desire, and for gaining personal fulfillment. Since mathematics encompasses all aspects of human life, it is unquestionably important in education to help students and all people from all walks of life to perform daily their tasks efficiently and become productive, well informed, functional, independent individuals and members of a society, where mathematics is the fundamental component.
Mathematicians develop so-called models of the world, then examine them. This applies even to the basic mathematics, beyond the age of five and six we do not study addition by actually merging groups of item and counting them. In so so, languages, formulae and insight are established which may then be employed to make a significant contribution to our knowledge and appreciation of the world around us, and therefore chart our route in it. According to Lutfuzzaman, (2014) Mathematics is the key of all sciences. This is because today’s world mostly depends on science, and science in turn depends on mathematics. Although many grant it as a theoretical topic the fact is that the fields of mathematics were established to suit the requirement of day to day practical life . Stacey, (2004) explained additional mathematics, comprising of arithmetic, algebra and geometry plays a vital function in the sphere of education. The study of mathematics may satisfy a wide variety of interests and talents, it expanded the imagination; it trains in clear and logical cognition. It helps in managing variations of complex concepts and unresolved difficulties, since it deals with the question emerging from intricate structure, and with a continual drive to simplification: they are able to discover the correct concept and way to make tough thing easier to describe and understood. Conversely, Further mathematic is comparatively a new curriculum in Nigerian Educational System. Its integration into the school curriculum was one of the suggestions of a national workshop on policies and methods for the enhancement of the teaching and learning mathematics at all levels hosted by the National Mathematics Centre (NMC).
Furthermore, it was firmly thought that there is need to teach a meaningful mathematics that would provide something to diverse sorts of pupils vis-à-vis those who would and those who would not utilize mathematics in their subsequent studies or vocation. Further Mathematics provides Senior Secondary School pupils opportunity to be introduced to some themes in Advanced Level mathematics in order to prepare them to pursue mathematics or mathematics related courses in their next level of education. While all students offer mathematics, few few scientific students generally give Further Mathematics. The rationale for this is not farfetched. National Council for Curriculum Assessment (2005) reported that many pupils consider mathematics as a challenging subject and perceive advanced mathematics as an elite subject for only the top students. Aminu (2015) claimed that students may only find the study of mathematics more enticing when they consider the subject matter as fascinating, helpful and relevant to their daily existence. These and many more stated above reason gives rise to challenges linked to teaching-learning of additional mathematics in secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Students’ achievement in further mathematics at both Junior and Senior School levels diminish as years go by. Many investigations demonstrate low performance in mathematics at both the qualifying test (SSCE) and placement exams such University Matriculation Examination – UME ( Odili and Vincent 2011). ( Odili and Vincent 2011). Adeoye, & Aiyedun, (2003) argued that the tendency of low academic performance in further mathematics has produced a shortage in the number of eligible students necessary to fill the quota for mathematics and mathematics focused courses in our institutions. It is natural to suppose that students who offer further mathematics have opportunity to do better especially in mathematics than their peers who do not give further mathematics. This also affects directly on students’ mathematics and success in other science subjects. Wang, (2019) explained that in maximizing opportunity to learn, teacher’s attention should not be given to wide coverage of the syllabi, but there should also be conscious efforts to teach content and skill involved deeply, even though it can be inferred that students who offer further mathematics have better opportunity to learn more mathematical concepts than their counterparts that do not.
As the low level of mathematics achievement has become an issue of great concern, the necessity of investigating possible causes becomes more urgent. These aspects include attitude of students and instructors, topic complexity, instructional strategies and number and quality of teachers. Obodo (2000) bemoaned the poor status of mathematics teaching in Nigeria and averred that the problem of quality of mathematics instruction and learning come from many sources. Therefore it becomes necessary to ascertain this problem and tackle it squarely in other to promote effective teaching-learning of further mathematics in secondary school against the backdrop that compel the researcher to focus this study on problem and prospects of teaching further mathematics in secondary schools in Calabar Metropolis.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of this study is to examine problem and prospects of teaching further mathematics in secondary schools in Calabar Metropolis. Specifically it seek to:
1. Investigate the importance of further mathematics subject in secondary school education
2. Examine the Challenges militating against further mathematics teaching and learning
3. Determine stringent measures to be put in place by the appropriate authorities for effective mathematics teaching and learning
1.4 Research Question
The study is guided by the following research question:
1. What are the importance of further mathematics subject in secondary school education
2. What are the Challenges militating against further mathematics teaching and learning
3. What stringent measures can be put in place by the appropriate authorities for effective further mathematics teaching and learning.
1.5 Significance of the study
Findings from the study will provide a framework for government, curriculum planner, stakeholders in education to come up with strategies on how to improve further mathematics instruction. The study will be useful to teachers as it emphasizes the need fro them to improve teaching method and utilize instructional strategies so as to ensure effective teaching and learning of further mathematics in secondary schools. Empirically, the study will contribute to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to both scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.
1.6 Scope o the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine problem and prospects of teaching further mathematics in secondary schools. The study will investigate the importance of further mathematics subject in secondary school education. It will examine the Challenges militating against further mathematics teaching and learning. It will determine stringent measures to be put in place by the appropriate authorities for effective mathematics teaching and learning. The study is however delimited to in selected secondary schools in Calabar Metropolis of Cross River State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other secondary schools. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
1.8 Definition of terms
Further Mathematics: Mathematics includes the study of such topics as numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. Further Mathematics is the title given to a number of advanced secondary mathematics courses.
Learning outcome: Learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge or skills students should acquire by the end of a particular assignment, class, course, or program, and help students understand why that knowledge and those skills will be useful to them.
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