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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

WHY MATHEMATICS IS A COMPULSORY SUBJECT FOR ALL FIELDS IN NEW SECONDARY CURRICULUM IN NIGERIA

Today, Nigeria is implementing a new education policy called basic system of education.


Every child in Nigeria is expected to  have free compulsory basic primary education that runs from basic 1 – 9. Then SSS 1 – 3 for secondary school phase. All the way, there are four compulsory subjects  in the Senior Secondary School (SSS). These  included:
General Mathematics,  English Language,  Civic Education,    Trade /Entrepreneurship  studies . In addition there are four approved fields which are:
 (1) Sciences and Mathematics (Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Health Education, Physical Education, Agricultural Science, ICT );
(2)  Humanities (Nigerian Language , Literature , Geography , Government , CRS, IRS, History, Visual Arts, Music, French, Economics, Arabics, CIT)
(3) Technology  (Technical Drawing , Food & Nutrition , Electronics , Basic Electricity , Auto Mech, Building Construction, Wood work , Home management, Clothing & Textiles,  ICT)
(4) Business Studies ( Accounting , Store Management , Office  Practice , Insurance Commerce, ICT)
 For the purpose of this article, I wish  to explain why Mathematics is one of the core subjects .
Mathematics is the study of numbers, quantities, shapes and relationships.  It offers all other human endeavours some unified method of measurements,  some way of determining how large, how small, how many, how few, how far, how near, how fast, how slow, how hot, how cold.
 Productive scientific investigations would  have been impossible without Mathematics.
It consequently is an invaluable tool for the chemist, the physicist, the astronomers, the engineer and others. Little wonders then that mathematics is usually described  as the “Queen and servant of the sciences.”
The invention of new systems of algebra and geometry and the revision of the theoretical foundation of calculus had far- reaching effects on mathematics. In the 1990s mathematicians began to explore the foundation of mathematics  itself. Many philosophies of mathematics appeared as well as attempts to give mathematics basics in logic.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) opened a whole new area for mathematical research (Nault 1981).
New development in science requires a tremendous expansion of applied mathematics. Such fields as electronics, nuclear physic, and the exploration of space have used new inventions from pure Mathematics to solve problems.  For example,  electronic computers use system of mathematics designed by mathematicians. Also mathematical models have been formulated to study many kinds of systems,  including underground petroleum reserves and worldwide weather patterns. The models consist of mathematical equations that describe the relation between the parts or process of a system. Computers are used to solve these equations.
From the above information, I think the study of Mathematics especially at the secondary school level is worthwhile in the actualization of the New secondary curriculum in Nigeria.

Article By Okafor Chiedu A.

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