Learning Mathematics in School Level

Wahidud Zaman PGT(Statistics), Chhaygaon HS School, Kamrup

If we look we find that of the 7 countries good in Mathematics, India ranks 7th though all the renowned mathematicians like Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta were from India.Even today, many Mathematicians are working as Scientists in NASA. World's best IT companies are owned by Indians and many Indians are working in highest prestigious positions in these companies. But surprisingly, many students in India still have the Maths phobia, fear to learn mathematics. If we do a statistical survey of number of students studying in science stream, we find very few students learning Mathematics. Many students after HSLC Exam prefer to go for Arts or Commerce stream. So it's high time to introspect the reason behind this.

In many schools from the primary to secondary level we find that students are mostly taught Mathematics by Lecture Method. We often blame the students that they are very weak in Mathematics but this is half the truth. In the primary level itself the interest of the students to learn Mathematics remains undeveloped or under developed which gradually turns into fear for the subject. In secondary level we find many students failing or getting less than 50% marks in their exams. If we ask them the reason, the common answer is " I don't like Mathematics, It's a very tough subject, I don't understanding anything" etc. etc. If this is the condition, then how can we expect a secondary level student to get good marks in HSLC Exam or HS Exams? Its time we make a study regarding the reason behind this.We have to find the root cause behind this failure. Only if we go deep into it, we will be able to understand why they have not learnt anything or find it difficult to understand the subject in the primary level. Why their basic knowledge or the basic concepts on Mathematics is about zero. Now the question is who is to blame? The secondary school teachers will blame the Primary level teachers and the Primary level teachers will say that the students are dull. But this is also not the truth. No use of blaming each other, it's the responsibility of each and every Mathematics teacher from Primary to Secondary level to take care of the children and try to teach the them the subject Mathematics with fun.To develop in them an interest in the subject.

Now the point is how to teach mathematics so as to make it interesting so that they slowly grow to like the subject. Every subject has its main objectives of teaching and we should never forget that mathematics is to be taught in such a way that the objectives of learning mathematics is fulfilled. By keeping this point in view we should teach the students with the help of several methods e.g. Known to Unknown, unknown to known, Problem solving, learning by doing etc. While teaching students we should also use the heuristic approach which is very beneficial for the students.

Now the question is who will know these methods? All newly appointed teachers know these methods. They have learnt these methods in their D.El. Ed. courses or B.Ed. Courses. Also the teachers who were appointed before 2012 have gone to DIET for taking 6 month courses for Trained Graduate Teachers. Even education department from time to time arranges orientation courses for the teachers with the help of resource persons.The block officers or the district officers can urge the teachers to implement these methods of teaching mathematics or science subjects while teaching the students. Inspections at regular intervals should be conducted whether its implemented or not. The departmental officers can collect the recordings of the video classes of 4/5 minutes of these teachers of their actual classroom teaching through HM/Principal of the respective schools and after minute observations by a team of Lecturers of DIET , they can give necessary suggesstions for their improvements. Regular preparation of Lesson plans before going to take a class is very important for the teachers but unfortunately no one does it or very few of them prepares it.

Using of Teaching Learning Materials by the Mathematics Teachers is not seen now a days or rarely do we see some of them using it. We are to make them( the teachers) understand that using TLM is an unavoidable part of teaching Mathematics to increase their knowledge or developing the basic concepts of the students. The little students from their childhood should learn mathematics practically and not theoritically ,hearing lectures from the teachers. They should learn by touching, doing, hearing and seeing; in other words by activiting their sensory organs. If they don't learn mathematics with fun, they will learn nothing. They should feel the necessity ,the essential use of mathematics in daily life. They should feel that without mathematics no one on this earth can do anything. In every walk of life mathematics is an essential part.They should be convinced that even our whole body is a mathematical symmetrical figure. Once they understand the value of mathematics, they will surely take interest while learning it ; once this interest is developed they will gradually start learning Mathematics in secondary level with ease.