Biriwa, Ghana - 2 June, 2015
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Ghana (AIMS-Ghana), a non-profit pan-African network of Centres of Excellence in education and research, has launched a Mathematics Teacher Training Workshop Series to promote teaching and learning of mathematics, through outreach programmes, at all levels of education in Ghana.
Teachers and pupils, especially those in the most deprived areas in the country will benefit most to bridge the gap between them and their counterparts in urban areas.
The initiative is a partnership between the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Education, and AIMS-Ghana to train teachers in modern ways of teaching mathematics and break the barrier of the subject being seen as abstract. AIMS-Ghana believes that changes need to be made to the educational models used for teaching STEM to primary, secondary and tertiary students.
The Kwahu Afram Plains North District was selected to pilot the teacher training exercise. 50 teachers at the pre-tertiary level in the district benefited from a five-day intensive training at Donkorkrom. The training will soon be extended to cover other districts in the country.
Professor Francis K. A. Allotey, President of AIMS-Ghana, in a speech read on his behalf to open the five-day training programme, conceded that the teaching and learning of mathematics is a problem in Ghana and that AIMS-Ghana was committed to liaising with all stakeholders in education to raise pupils’ interest in studies in mathematics.
He said mathematics was the bedrock of modern economies and that there was the urgent need to whip up the interest in studies in mathematics to demystify it as a difficult subject while pursuing careers in teaching, research, business and industry.
“Despite the importance of mathematical and quantitative skills there is a decline in the number of skilled mathematics teachers at the pre-tertiary level in Ghana” he said.
According to Professor Allotey, mathematics equipped individuals to think logically and become problem solvers, stressing that one of the key skills needed in Ghana’s developmental agenda is the development of mathematical talent.
He said AIMS, as Africa’s first network of centres of excellence for post-graduate scientific training, research, industry and public engagement in mathematical sciences, had the objective of delivering excellent teaching, research and education in mathematical sciences.
“AIMS has it as a mission to enable Africa’s brightest students flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Africa’s future scientific, industrial, educational and economic self-sufficiency” he added.
Professor Allotey urged the participants to take advantage of the training and share their challenges in teaching mathematics with the facilitators for a holistic training that can impart directly in the performance of the pupils.
Kenneth Johnson Asuo, the District Training Officer, expressed happiness and thanked AIMS-Ghana and the Government for instituting such a timely intervention to equip mathematics teachers to make the teaching of the subject lively.
“After this five-day training, I can say the style with which I taught mathematics in class has changed; my students will perform better in subsequent academic years,” he said.
Mr Gabriel Adu, District Education Director for Afram Plains North, expressed appreciation to AIMS-Ghana for choosing his district for the pilot and pledged his outfit’s support in making the training programme a success to raise performance in mathematics in the district.
The Vision of AIMS is to lead the transformation of Africa through innovative scientific training, technical advances and breakthrough discoveries which benefit the whole of society. AIMS has established centres of excellence in South Africa, Sénégal, Ghana, Cameroon and Tanzania with the objective establishing 15 centres of excellence across Africa by 2025. Meanwhile, the Institute has produced an impressive array of more than 730 graduates from 41 African nations with 30 per cent of these scholars being women.