The Chief Executive Officer at the National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Professor Stephen Onah has revealed why students fail mathematics while writing West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO).
Professor Ona who revealed this during an interview recently in Abuja blamed the poor performance of students in WAEC and NECO examinations on unqualified Mathematics teachers. He said school proprietors draft non-professional teachers into teaching senior secondary students Mathematics for such important examinations.
According to him, another factor responsible for poor performance of Nigerian students in Mathematics is the high standards maintained by WAEC and NECO with unqualified mathematics teachers teaching the subject. “The other factor is that because there are no enough hands to train students in this discipline, persons from different areas of study even outside science-based areas are brought to teach the subject.
“Because the WAEC and NECO which are of international standard will not lower their standard because Nigeria has not enough hands or qualified teachers to train its students.
￼“They will always maintain their standard and so if we are not living up to that standard, that explains our poor performances,’’ he said The professor explained further that when the number of teachers is not equal to that of the students’ population effective teaching becomes a problem, therefore making the students to fail.
He therefore called for an increase in the incentives given to mathematics teachers, saying lack of motivation for teachers in critical subjects such as Mathematics affects negatively, the nation’s system of education.
The professor noted that there has been an improvement in both quality and quantity of teachers in Mathematics in the past two years, but said a lot more can be done to shore up students’ performances.
“This is because there is some recognition; the teachers are beginning to see that they are being recognised for their work and they are putting in their very best. Again the centre in its own way has been putting up programmes to facilitate the teaching of mathematics,” he said.