How Students Can Become Proficient in Mathematics
—Professor of Applied Mathematics
The fact that Mathematics, commonly referred to as the backbone of all science disciplines has a link with students intellectual development was established at a lecture at the Federal University of Technology, Akure recently.
A Professor of Applied Mathematics, Olubode Koriko, who is the current Dean, School of Sciences, FUTA while delivering the 81st Inaugural lecture titled “Mathematics : It is by Faith not by Sight”, emphasized the importance of Mathematics to intellectual development, saying “Mathematics is the theoretical foundation for all scientific/technological breakthrough.
Mathematics is the queen of the sciences and also the language of all sciences and engineering. “Professor Koriko debunked what he described as the myth that mathematics is a difficult subject, urging students to avoid laziness, building up their faith because studying mathematics is by faith, not by sight.
He said “for students to be good in mathematics, they need to put in a lot of efforts. They have to practice what they have learned frequently and solve as many related examples as possible. The more they practice, the better their proficiency. Students who want to be proficient in mathematics have to devote time to studying it instead of looking for ‘short-cut’. He also called on parents to support the faith of their wards in studying mathematics.
Koriko, a First Class graduate of Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and post graduate degrees from Essex England, University of Ibadan and FUTA said the objective of Mathematics, is to train students to be able to adequately apply their built mathematical skills with the aid of Information Technology to solve real -life problems in the areas of Agriculture, Commerce, Medicine and other allied disciplines and also provide and promote sound basic practical and theoretical training in Industrial Mathematics as a foundation for the technological development of the society.
To achieve the above objectives, the don called for improved mathematics education in the society, saying “mathematics is a gateway to success in the sciences and skill acquisition ” He also called on the Federal Government to, through the Ministry of Education, put things right by posting only qualified teachers of mathematics to schools, starting from posting fresh graduate on National Youth Service.
He said “the government through the ministry of education can follow the policy of developed countries which no longer places uncertified teachers in low-performing schools. The Federal government should also improve teachers working conditions and provide teachers with more mentoring, proficiency-enhancing on the job training and supervision ” Koriko also called for adequate training of Mathematics teachers to develop professional teaching and research methods.
“Mathematicians have little motivation towards practical applications of mathematics to solve real -life problems. In view of this, research work targeted towards solving a specific life problem should be encouraged. This could be in terms of adequate funding and award of research grants for researchers who use mathematics to solve a specific real-life problem” he added.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, who chaired the occasion, commended the delivery by the lecturer, saying “Professor Koriko has really justified his First Class honour degree in his chosen field.” He also encouraged upcoming mathematicians to imbibe the culture of hard work which is the only secret to success in life.