By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
A Professor of Mathematics at the University of Ilorin, Medinat Folorunso Salman, weekend advised Mathematics teachers across the country to adopt the use of effective instructional strategies that would enhance and encourage the students to meaningfully acquire the knowledge of the subjects and problem solving skills.
Professor Salman who made the advice while delivering her 168th inaugural lecture of the university entitled, ‘Language and Problem Solving: The Mathematics Education Link’, held at the main auditorium of the institution, said such advice would assist the students of Mathematics to adequately participate in science and technology programmes at the institutions of higher learning.
“The adoption of the use of instructional strategies by the teachers of Mathematics also became imperative that, without Mathematics, there is no science, without science, there is no modern technology and without modern technology, there is no modern society.”
She added that Mathematics is one of the core subjects at primary and secondary school levels of education due to its importance and usefulness in everyday activities.
“From the results of the researches I have carried out, I have deduced the fact that, the mode of instruction especially at both primary and secondary levels of education remains overwhelmingly teacher-centered, with greater emphasis on the use of the lecture mode of instruction and the use of textbooks rather than engaging students in critical thinking across subject areas and in applying the knowledge acquired to solving real life problems.
“The role of teachers at all levels of education is emphasised in the National Policy on Education that no nation or educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers.This declaration underscores the need for teachers effectiveness in the teaching and learning process because it is the teacher’s competence, ability, resourcefulness and ingenuity through effective utilisation of appropriate language, methodology and available instructional materials that could bring out the best from the learners in terms of academic achievement.
“Also, consistent engagement of students in critical thinking, reasoning and brainstorming would lead them to better and more detailed understanding of Mathematics as well as increase their abilities to demonstrate complex problem solving, reasoning and communication skills,” Salman stressed.
The don who called on the government to allow the teaching of Mathematics at all levels to be handled by professional Mathematics teachers said that, “the ministries of Education should organise regular training workshops and seminars for Mathematics teachers at primary and secondary school levels.”
She noted that, such development would afford them the opportunity to update their knowledge and also give them awareness on innovative methods of teaching Mathematics.
She advised them to develop the ability to relate the content knowledge of Mathematics to real life situation by engaging students in practical activities relevant to the content they are teaching the students.
In another development, a Professor of Guidance and Counselling at the University, Lasiele Yahaya has called on members of the National Assembly to initiate a bill on the institutionalisation of guidance and counselling in the country’s schools.
He said when it is done it would serve as a key to unlock various life opportunities for students across the country.
Yahaya said this while delivering the 166th inaugural lecture of the university titled ‘School Counselling: Key to Unlocking Golden Opportunities in Life’ at the main auditorium of the university.
“If counselling is given the deserved attention in schools, most of the cases of deviant behavior, which are rampant in the Nigerian institutions, would be brought under control.
“Apart from this, students would focus more on their studies such that ultimately they would benefit maximally from numerous opportunities that life presents.”
He explained that the development of any nation depends on the youths, adding that “children and youths are the greatest assets of any nation and the future hope, hence the need to prepare and fortify them with the requisite skills to harness the golden opportunities abundant in life through counselling.
“I also advocate an educational act of parliament in order to ensure compliance of the institutionalisation of guidance and counselling in schools in Nigeria and counselling should be given adequate consideration in the National Policy on Education.”
The don added: “Government should ensure that school counsellors practice on a full-time basis. Counselling is a job that demands total commitment and dedication. It requires full-time and all the day attention.
”The federal and state ministries of education, the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Commission for Colleges of Education and National Board for Technical Education should integrate guidance and counselling services as part of the requirements for accreditation.
He therefore called for more needed facilities and support for school counselors to assist them to add values to the lives of the students.