Nigerian School Pledges to Address Students' Phobia for Mathematics

For the year 2022, only the primary and junior secondary school categories are open for competition.

A private school based in Abuja, Nigeria's Federal Capital Territory (FCT) - Christabel Private School, has condemned what it termed increasing no love lost between many Nigerian students and Mathematics, as a subject.

The school said Mathematics is important for all-round development of students, saying in the age of technology Mathematics cannot be avoided.

The school's Vice-Principal, Administration, Augustine Akhigbe, said the initiative is aimed at addressing what he called children's phobia for Mathematics.

The teachers said more than 50 other schools would be hosted in the FCT as participants in the annual competition, which is tagged "Doctor Maths Mathematics Competition."

The competition, which is scheduled for 4 August, is in partnership with the Private School Tutors Union of Nigeria (PRISCTUN).

He said the winner of the competition will get a cash prize of N50,000 and other benefits.

The vice-principal said; "Our learners like Mathematics a lot and they are doing well. We felt it would be good that they compete with other schools and test their abilities, so we decided to be a part of it.

"Doctor Maths is an organisation that helps people 'cure' their fear of maths. Rather than fear, they want students to love the subject and make it more fun.

"Our school instils the fact that you can win anywhere. They may not always win, but we want our children to demonstrate such confidence. Confidence is key."

The competition

The vice-principal said all schools in Abuja can send their best Mathematics learners to represent them at the event but that the only categories open for competition are for primary and junior secondary levels.

Mr Akhigbe announced that there would also be side attractions such as chess and multiplication challenges.

He said; "These are brain stimulating events that help children know that they have different skills, which is what Christabel is about. Children are able to express themselves and learners are helped to achieve their full potential."

"Learners will be tested strictly on their speed in multiplication and ability to answer 20 multiplication questions in 30 seconds or one minute. Winners of the multiplication challenge will win a cash prize of N10,000.

Also, the Chess competition will allow the learners to engage themselves properly, and the winner of the Chess competition will get a cash prize of N10,000."

According to the school management, participating schools are expected to have picked up the registration form at the school's premises or registered online.

A prospective participant of the competition, Emeka Chukwurah, said he looks forward to the competition and is eager to see the questions.

"I want to test my abilities and also win the cash price.

"I have always loved maths. Students do not like maths, they say it is too difficult. Some say they don't like the teacher who teaches it.

"I am very prepared and I am looking forward to the competition," he said.

Another prospective participant, Yesokosa Audam, said, "Some say maths is difficult. This is perhaps because they haven't spent time to understand it. Some say they don't like the teacher who teaches it. My advice is that they should try to study, to understand it. Then they should search for help. They should also test themselves more often. Go beyond the surface to understand it," she said.

Speaking on her expectation of the competition, she said she hopes students get good prices for being outstanding.

"I hope people are happy, I hope people are able to test how intelligent they are, and I hope people get good prices for being outstanding."

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