Monday, 28 November 2016

Cowbellpedia Winners Reveal Methods And Tactics To Beat Mathematics Phobia

Winners and teachers in the just concluded 2016 Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics TV Quiz Show have revealed the various strategies to ‘arrest’ the Mathematics phobia.

Mathematics, regarded as the bedrock of science, spreads phobia in the minds of several students that has resulted in the below average performance in the subject at the Senior School Certificate examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO).

The Winners, Oguntade Ayooluwa and Juliet Ekoko
The mental ‘warfare’ over the 2016 Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics TV Quiz Show 2016 which started with a qualifying written examination in March 2016 ended recently with Juliet Ekoko and Ayooluwa Oguntade, both of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State winning the star prize in the Junior and Senior categories respectively.

Oguntade who ascribed his success to his teachers and the Cowbell class that was organised by his school before the competition, however advised his colleagues who have phobia for mathematics to confront their fears for the subject. ‘Mathematics phobia is about attitude, the solution is to face and resist your fear and it shall flee from you,” he said.

Ekoko who aspires to be a medical doctor, also noted that the Mathematics phobia exists in the mind and only a positive mental attitude can defeat it. “It is an unreal fear, and the moment you don’t give in to its intimidation, you have conquered it. It is like a toothless roaring lion, which looks dangerous, but in the final analysis, harmless,” she said.

Oluwatunmise Idowu, a finalist in the junior category, hinted that only a constant practice of the subject can erase the fear. “A proverb says familiarity brings contempt. It is like that for Mathematics; the more you get yourself familiar through constant practice, the more you rise above the fear. I spent an average of four hours on Mathematics daily, and it has worked for me,” Idowu who set a new competition record by answering 17 questions in 60 seconds, said.

Idowu’s sentiment was reiterated by Adegoke Aromolaran, a finalist in the Senior category, who disclosed that the subject has become a sort of analgesic for him, through constant practice. Aromolaran, an Ijesa Prince added that he practices Mathematics for five hours daily.

Aside the students, the teachers also revealed their methods and tactics of handling the phobia. Kola Bello, a Mathematics teacher with The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, who is also the teacher of Oguntade, explained that since a lot of students see mathematics as difficult subject, he advises them to attack the subject, because, like in football, attack is the best form of defense.

Ambassadors College Proprietor, Mr. Samson Yomi Osewa, credited the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show for helping the school put a system in place to improve the performance of its pupils in Mathematics.

Osewa said the school started its improvement strategy as far back as 2006 when its first representative to the then sponsored Mathematics Competition by Cowbell placed over 100th position in the first stage examination in Ogun State. The pharmacist-turned-educationist added that putting regular training for Mathematics in place and providing incentives for both teachers and pupils had a ripple effect on the overall academic performance of the school in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the Cambridge IGCSE.

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