AIMS Ghana, University for Development Studies mark International Day of Mathematics
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences - AIMS Ghana, and the MathematicsDepartment of the University for Development Studies (UDS) – Tamale, collaborated with support from the Henry Luce Foundation, to celebrate the International Day of Mathematics (IDM) on March 14, 2023.
Date Created : 4/5/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : NewsGhana/Ghanadistricts.com
The celebration, themed “Mathematics for Everyone” focused on the core issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity, highlighted in some key activities.
A fireside chat was also organized for over 100 maths-phobia female high school students who converged at the Tamale Girls Senior High School, to encourage and inspire them into realizing that Mathematics is a field they can build a career in, through practice and perseverance.
The climax of the celebration was a forum which took place at the UDS Campus - Tamale, bringing together farmer groups, the shea butter women’s association, disabled groups, religious minority groups, teachers, students, academicians, policy and decision-makers, and the general public.
The keynote address at the forum was given by the Vice Dean of the university, Prof. Haruna Issahaku, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor. Speaking about the IDM celebration, he highlighted the barriers that exist for many individuals when it comes to mathematics education and opportunities, in particular rural dwellers, individuals from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities.
He added, “We must strive to break down the systemic barriers that prevent and represent particular groups from pursuing careers in mathematics.”
The Academic Director for AIMS Ghana, Dr. Rhoda Hawkins also made an address, emphasizing how AIMS was supporting in broadening diversity within mathematics, as students at the Centre are selected from across Africa, and lecturers also visit from various parts of the world.
Dr. Hawkins also gave a practical demonstration on mathematics using a hand-made paper Tetrahedron, providing a hands-on experience for all participants. She gave a step-by-step procedure on how to create the three-dimensional shape from paper after which participants waved the coloured triangular pyramids to celebrate the tangibility of Mathematics, reiterating the idea that “Math is for everyone”.
The forum concluded with a session led by Dr. Angela Tabiri and Dr. Mustafa Sulemana on the perceptions and experiences arising from mathematics education in Ghanaian schools, where students shared their challenges with the study of the subject.
There were calls for improvement in training for math teachers in basic schools so that they can provide a firm foundation to students.
Teachers were also encouraged to desist from creating tension in the classroom but rather inculcate exciting teaching methods so that students can be relaxed enough to focus on mathematics and develop interest the subject.
Additionally, stakeholders in education were called upon to provide relevant and adequate learning resources to help the teachers ensure that mathematics can become activity oriented instead of the abstract perspective it is usually given.