Ministry of Education, Guyana

Sunday, 01 October 2017 09:09

Region Ten hosts Maths and Literacy tent…Let’s make Maths fun again….Linden Mayor, Carwyn Holland

news 20171002Linden Mayor, Carwyn Holland exhorted both teachers and parents on Wednesday to make Maths ‘fun again!’

The Mayor was at the time delivering his feature address to officially open a math and Literacy tent, hosted by the Education Department of Region Ten.
The activity was held at the Amelia’s Ward bus park, in observance of Education Month. It was held under the themes ‘Intervention for Quality Education’ and ‘Conquering Illiteracy with Diplomacy’.
According to officials from the Education Department, the initiative was to increase awareness of the value of these two core subjects in everyday life.
Mathematics Coordinator for Region Ten, Roxanne Reynolds, said, “This activity, today, is to sensitise citizens to the importance of numeracy, and to let them know that Mathematics is everybody’s business, as it is not only relegated to the classroom, but involves almost every aspect of our day to day existence.”
Reynolds said that the activity presented the opportunity to display to the community the various methodologies and strategies that parents, grandparents and other caregivers could use to enhance mathematical concepts to children. She acknowledged that it was a privilege to do that.
Regional Literacy Officer and NCERD Representative, Claudelle Alley-Bristol, said passersby, parents and grandparents were given little tips and pointers on how to help their charges become more literate.
Several parents who turned out in support of the event applauded the education department for the initiative.
One enthused mother, after viewing some of the visual aids that were on exhibition, noted, “I going home and make some of these same things and paste them on the wall. I now see that we could really do a lot to help the children.”
Those sentiments were echoed by several others who expressed both surprise and admiration for the creativity used in making the teaching aids and models.
Teacher Winette Carmichael-Amsterdam, a member of the Region Ten literacy committee, said that it was her hope that the initiative would be the catalyst to awaken renewed interest in both Mathematics and literacy.
“We hope that after this activity, parents would be more enthusiastic to go home and help their children.”
Mayor, Carwyn Holland, declared, “I am especially pleased to be a part of this exercise. From a very early age, I was a fan of Mathematics. It formed a fundamental part of my everyday life throughout my childhood and into adulthood.
“I graduated with distinction at the CSEC level in Mathematics and continued onward even teaching students in preparation of the CSEC exam. These many years later, my love for the subject has not died, and I get good practice.
“In my home, my wife administers the English homework and assignments, while I tackle those related to Mathematics.
He expressed concern that many students complain that Mathematics is too difficult to understand and to master. Some even declare that many of the topics covered in Mathematics are irrelevant to their desired area of study.
“We have to guard against this tendency and encourage all children to love and strive to excel at Maths. Mastering the concepts in Maths is not only relevant to those who wish to pursue studies in the fields of Statistics, Accounting, Economics or Physics; they are relevant to every area of study and expertise.” To master Mathematics, one is taught to develop and master one’s reasoning and comprehension abilities.
“There is no field of study that does not require a sound ability to reason and comprehend. Therefore, Mathematics is a key tool that is useful in cultivating our reasoning ability, and should be promoted to our students as useful and enjoyable.”
Holland said, “I feel empathy for students whose introduction to Mathematics caused confusion, or even worse, intimidation. It is true that while many may understand Maths, they may be unable to teach it in a way that is easily understandable and creates excitement in the minds of young learners to delve further into Mathematics.
Therefore I want to caution all teachers and instructors to engage our children in Math in a way that promotes interest and understanding. Too many of our young people attain higher levels of study, excel in other fields, but fail at Mathematics- often preventing them from advancing into higher fields of study and employment.
We must stop this trend and promote comprehensive learning of Mathematics from an early age. It is very difficult to outlive the apprehensions children feel concerning Mathematics if their first introduction was negative and unenthusiastic.”
Holland urged parents to become actively involved in helping their children to grasp mathematical concepts and not leave everything to the teacher, noting that there are practical ways to do that.
He reminisced on how, as a child his father would use the rows of vegetables in the garden, to teach him Mathematics.
The simple method spurred his curiosity and interest, and kept him engaged.
“The decline in Mathematics and all other related fields of study, demands that we arrest this situation now!”


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