The Director/Chief Executive, National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Prof. Stephen Onah, has urged political leaders to prioritise education especially learning of mathematics using it as their constituency projects in the Communities.
Onah made the call in an interview with our correspondent at the sideline of the occasion of the International Day of Mathematics (IDM) in Abuja.
He said that the political leaders should take education very seriously; stressing that in fact education should be a priority project both at the governmental and individual level.
“When we talk about community development project that is constituency project, my advice to the politicians is that they should choose development of their young ones educationally.
“Particularly in the area of mathematics; they should choose that as their constituency project.
“There are many things they can do and if they liaise with the National Mathematical Centre, we will be able to guide them on things that they would do in their communities.
“Things that will bring up their young ones in the area of mathematics and mathematical sciences,” the director added.
According to him, in the world today the importance of mathematics cannot be over emphasised especially in the area of daily activities.
He said,” it is incredibly important in human lives and it’s used in many professions”.
He also said that mathematics had been proven to be a powerful tool for understanding the World around the society.
“Every sane person does and uses mathematics, though many don’t realize that. For instance, a good cook who wants to prepare food must take into consideration the number of people to be feed.
“The quantity of what he/she wants to cook, the size of the pot to use, quantities of ingredients and water to make food tasty.
“This and more are some of the things people do in their every day’s life without knowing they are doing mathematics, though in an informal way”.
“So mathematics helps us to understand patterns, quantify relationships, predict the future, predict profit, study exponential growth and decay; the rate at which things grow and die within the context of population growth.
“The importance of Mathematics in our quest for a better World cannot be over emphasised, therefore, there is need to make IDM worth looking forward to in Nigeria,” he said.
Onah said that for this to be achieved, the celebration should not be left in the hand of NMC and few organisations.
He, therefore, called on all Mathematics Departments/Units, Mathematics Students’ Associations in the tertiary institutions and all lovers and users of mathematics to include it in their annual programme.
He also urged students to change their attitude towards the learning of mathematics, saying that mathematics is so fundamental in their progression.
He further added that many people developed phobia for mathematics because of the general belief that “it is abstract and difficult.
“Whether you want to become, a business person, farmer, whatever you want to be in life you will discover that knowledge/education is number one.
“And you cannot run away from the learning of mathematics because it is the one that develop your creativity ability, logical reasoning which is the basic aspect of your life,’’ he said.
He said that the second principal actor of education is the teacher hence teachers should be taken care of.
He, however, appreciated the Federal Government for the bold step it has taken towards improved condition of service for teachers in the country.
“Because this is going to bring a very big different in their output and once teachers are happy with their jobs it will translate greatly to the output by the students.
“So, we want to encourage government particularly at the states level to embrace what the Federal Government is doing in the area of improving the teachers’ welfare and their emoluments.
“If we do this before we know it, we will be competing with the best in the world and our country will be reckoned with in the scientific global community”.
NAN reports that the International Day of Mathematics is celebrated every March 14 to create awareness on the usefulness of it for a better society.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Mathematics is “Mathematics for a better World.