# Challenges And Prospects Of Teaching And Learning Mathematics Among The JSS Students In Suleja Local Government Area In Niger State

## Abstract

The challenges and prospects of teaching and learning mathematics among the jss students in suleja local government area in niger state. However in all the states in Nigeria including Niger State, teaching and learning of mathematics have not been without problem. For some time now, there has been public outcry over the poor state in teaching and learning generally and mathematics to be specific. This reflected in the poor achievement especially in mathematics. The yearly result in the ordinary level examination in mathematics obviously indicated low numbers of credit passes. The motivation of this study aroused when considering all these. The study sought to explain the problems associated with teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary schools. The poor performance of students in mathematics in secondary schools has generated a lot of heat on the educational system. It was in consideration of this issue that the motivation of this study aroused. The study focused on the problems of teaching and learning mathematics is mostly associated with the teachers under qualification and in-experience in mathematics. However, the researcher recommended that the government and school authorities should employ more qualified mathematics teachers and organize seminars, workshops or conferences and in-service training to upgrade the practicing ones. The official of government agency in charge of secondary school education should faithfully implement the budget to reflect the purpose of the budgeting in our school system.

## Table of Content

- Title Page
- Certification
- Dedication
- Acknowledgement
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- Abstract

### Chapter One:

#### Introduction

- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisations of the Study

### Chapter Two:

#### Review of Literature

- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review

### Chapter Three:

#### Research Methodology

- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration

### Chapter Four:

#### Data Presentation and Analysis

- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

### Chapter Five:

#### Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
- References
- APPENDIX
- QUESTIONNAIRE

## Chapter One

### Introduction

#### 1.1 Background of the Study

Mathematics education is the bedrock of scientific and technological development in any country. Mathematics is one of the school subjects that any nation needs for industrial and technological advancement, useful for most vocation and higher specialized courses of learning (Olili, 2006: Sidhu, 2006). According to Nwoke and Nnaji (2011), Mathematics is the study of quantity, structures, space and change, it developed through the use of abstraction and logical reasoning, from counting, calculation, measurement and the study of the shapes and motion of physical objects. Mathematics is an excellent vehicle for the development and improvement of a person’s intellectual competence in logical reasoning, spatial visualization, analysis and abstracts thought. Students who study mathematics, therefore, develop numeracy skills, reasoning, thinking) and problem solving skill through the learning and application of mathematics.

Nigeria as a developing country needs scientific innovations in teaching and learning process, and as such requires mathematics that would enable early and proper utilization of this desire. Unfortunately, the position of Mathematics education in the country at the moment seems to be far from being impressive. The place of mathematics in development of any nation cannot be overemphasized.

Betiki (2001) maintains Mathematics education has been widely acclaimed to be the index of measuring any nation’s socio-economic and geo-political developments. Among science and technology courses, according to the National policy on education (2004) Mathematics is one of the core subjects to be offered by all students till the tertiary level of education.

The inclusion of Mathematics as a core subject in the Secondary school curriculum is due to the key roles it has played in the achievement of the objectives of the secondary school educations: such roles include: promoting of science and technology, provision of trained manpower in the applied sciences, technology and physical, as equipment for the individual to live on and contribute to the development of his society.

However, it is also important to note that in our universities, teaching and learning of Mathematics should consider the quality of the products. This is because mathematics has done good for the attainment of standard. The proper study of mathematics should assist individual in ordering, Organization, and Investigating his or her environment. This is only possible through active personal experience with material resources.

From Interaction with parent, some students and from result of SSCE in Mathematics, it is obvious that the subject has not fully achieved its purpose in Nigeria for Example taking SSCE Many times because of Mathematics, wasting resources, Poor background of the knowledge of Mathematics. This perhaps may be due to the method teacher’s use and not using instructional materials. At times some of them have not gone through education such can hinder their (teacher ) performance in lesson delivering .Student themselves on the other hand are not left out , some of them may not have interest and therefore lack attention .These may be due to the reason above or friends or due to the negative talks about Mathematics.

In essence Obodo (2000), Lament the poor state of Mathematics instruction in Nigeria and declared that the problem of Mathematics instruction and learning from diverse sources. The teacher has been accused to be responsible for the low quality of student’s performance in our secondary schools.

The study will be carried out in 21 Senior Secondary School in Yola education zone (Yola –South; and Furore Local Government Areas) in Adamawa State. Adamawa State is located North-Eastern part of the country at Latitude 9.330N and longitude 12.50E with its capital in Yola. The state was created from the deform Gongola State and has since been one of the thirty six (36) states that constitute Federal Republic of Nigeria. Adamawa State is one of the highest State in terms of land mass, occupying about 36,917km2. The State share boundaries with Borno state to the North, Gombe state to the west, Taraba to the south, as well as the Republic of Cameroon to the East, which has 21 local government areas with five education zones namely: Yola ,Mubi, Gombi, Numan and Ganye. The main constraints to diversify livelihood in the area is lack of basic social infrastructure. All education zones are under the umbrella of one board called Post Primary schools Management Board. The board is however under the Management of State Ministry of Education, Adamawa State. The language of the study area is mostly Hausa then Fulfulde and English.

Despite the relative importance of Mathematics, it is very disappointing to note that the students’ performance in the subject in both internal and external examinations seems to have remained consistently poor, possibly the alarming evidence of lack of Mathematics laboratory, negative notion students have concerning Mathematics, poor provision and learning materials and other possible causes, that would improve learning effectiveness and promote excellence in Mathematics. Moreover, it has conformed and re-affirmed that through research, resourceful teaching strategy is learner-centered and problem solving oriented. This cannot be implemented successfully in the absence of equipment.

Mathematics educators have put up efforts aimed at identifying the major problem associated with the teaching and learning of Mathematics in the nation’s schools. Despite (Poor performance in Mathematics) all these efforts, the problem of poor performance in SSCE result show that this has continued to rear its head in the nation’s public secondary schools.

This research examines the core board of Mathematics trying to find out why the problem of teaching and learning Mathematics is so difficult todays. Mathematics as a subject deals with different topics under it, which students see as a difficult subject to study. This could be because most of the teachers who teach the subject seem not to go into detail of simplifying the topics under Mathematics. In respect to the above, statistics have shown that difficulty in teaching and learning as some termed it to be has resulted in mass failure of the subject.

A cluster of variables have been implicated as responsible for the poor performance of students in Mathematics. These may include government related variables, curriculum related variables, examination body related, teacher, student, home and textbooks related. Apart from these variables Amazigbo, (2000) has identified poor primary school background in Mathematics subject, lack of incentives for teachers, unqualified teachers in the system, lack of learner interest, perception that Mathematics is difficult, large classes and psychological fear of the subject as factors responsible for the dismal performance of the students in the subject. In addition Bornstein (2011) contends that curriculum changes in Mathematics have occurred in several countries for one reason or the other, but more importantly it is for the desire to improve Mathematics teaching and learning to meet the needs of the society. In Nigeria, curriculum changes have occurred and for a long time, the tendency has been to transfer unquestionably, syllabus from the advanced countries based on the University of the subject. Such undertakings, loses sight of some problems usually raised by curriculum changes in Nigeria. Failure of the Mathematics is related to the child’s environment and immediate application of Mathematics in day to day living.

Mathematics is also bedrock of science and technological development; the issue of adequate physical facilities cannot be overemphasized. The physical facilities, such models will help grasp the idea of mathematics which seems to be abstract.

#### 1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is observed that few students offered Mathematics as a course in tertiary institution compare with other subject like Biology, Geography, Hausa, Physics etc. Alfred (2013). This perhaps may be attributed to the following factors, inadequate Mathematics teachers, unqualified Mathematics teachers, inadequate Mathematics instructional materials, class size, time tabling schedule and what have you.

Alfred, David and Aboyemi, (2013) maintained that in secondary schools, students perform below expectation and even develop phobia in Mathematics. This perhaps is based on fact that the teacher intends to use the study to find out possible causes.

#### 1.3 Objective of the Study

The main aim of this study is to investigate the challenges and prospects of teaching and learning mathematics among the JSS students in Suleja local government area in Niger state.

The study also aims at achieving the following objectives;

- To find out the availability of qualified Mathematics teachers in Senior Secondary Schools in Suleja local government area in Niger state.
- To find out the adequacy or inadequacy of Mathematics instructional materials in teaching and learning Mathematics in Suleja local government area in Niger state.
- To find out the average number of students per class in senior secondary schools in Suleja local government area in Niger state.
- To find out the problems of time tabling schedule and learning capacity that hinder affective teaching and learning Mathematics in Suleja local government area in Niger state.

#### 1.4 Research Questions

- Will student’s lack of interest hinder effective teaching and learning of Mathematics?
- Do parent contribute to students’ failure in Mathematics?
- Are there enough trained teachers for teaching Mathematics in senior secondary schools?
- Does the school have adequate instructional materials for teaching Mathematics in senior secondary schools?

#### 1.5 Significance of the study

The need for this research is to elicit useful information that could be the problems associated with teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary schools. Not until useful ideas to the problems militating against mathematics education is unraveled, through a research of this kind, we will not be able to suggest useful and workable solutions to the problems.

The research will be of help to policy makers in education, in review of curriculum development and implementation, proper repositioning of teacher training program and also be of help to teachers as it will expose areas where the teachers need to put more efforts in the teaching of mathematics. It will further help teachers in employing better techniques and methods of teaching to the best understanding of the students. In addition, the findings of this research will help students concerned to appreciate the subject mathematics, expose the importance of mathematics, the wonders, fun and happiness it gives thereby encouraging them to put in more effort and to remove every negative sentiments, and fear students have towards the study of mathematics.

The study is an eye opener to the general public in making people see the usefulness of mathematics in day to day activities and the indispensible contribution of mathematics in nation building. It makes the society have a grasp of their action and inaction towards mathematical education.

#### 1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is a quantitative survey that will cover five secondary schools selected in Suleja local government area in Niger state. Both sexes of teachers and students shall be used as subjects to get information on the teaching and learning of mathematics through a self-report instrument (questionnaire).

#### 1.7 Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study

#### 1.8 Definition of Terms

##### Problems:

This can be seen as obstacle that is hindering the effectiveness of a thing.

##### Teaching:

This is the process of imparting knowledge

##### Learning:

This is a process whereby there is a relative permanent change in behaviour due to impartation of knowledge.

##### Academic Qualification:

Is an academic skills quality or attribute that make somebody suitable for a teaching job.

##### Teacher Experience:

This is a kind of skill acquired through being involved in teaching over a period of time.

##### Teaching Techniques:

Is the procedure or skill required to impart mathematics knowledge to the student.

##### Teaching Aids:

Teaching materials that helps teacher in transmitting mathematical knowledge to the students.

Student motivation: It is a positive reinforcement that stimulate students to show interest in learning mathematics.

#### 1.9 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

## Chapter Five

### Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

#### 5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study is the problems associated with the teaching and learning of mathematics in Suleja local government area in Niger state.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the problems associated with teaching and learning of mathematics.

#### 5.2 Summary

it is clear that the Mathematics teachers indicated that they have the knowledge, experience and skills to teach Mathematics. However, changes in the teaching environment can affect the teaching and learning process. If the implementation of the curriculum is not well planned, it can make it difficult for teachers to teach effectively and efficiently. It is very important for teachers to be involved in the whole process of curriculum change, from the planning/designing phase to the implementation phase. Teachers should provide feedback to the Ministry of Education on the challenges they are experiencing in the implementation of the curriculum to ensure that the necessary improvements are made.

#### 5.3 Conclusion

Teaching and learning of mathematics for life skills and self reliance implies making the learners see mathematics beyond the classroom boundaries. It means that learners must be brought to the real world of issues and relate the mathematics they learned to the realities of life. The essence of teaching and learning mathematics for self-reliance is to promote responsible citizens as a sure way in the re-branding process.

#### 5.4 Recommendation

Haven successfully completed the study, the following recommendations were put forward by the researcher:

- A platform should be created by the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) where policy-makers and Mathematics teachers will both be involved in the decision-making process of new policies
- Mathematics teachers should endeavor to relate mathematics concepts to real life situations.
- Government should employ more mathematics teachers and supply adequate instructional materials and equip mathematics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of mathematics in Nigerian secondary schools.
- Mathematics curriculum planners should ensure that, there is proper integration of the curriculum in all secondary schools in Nigeria
- Mathematics Advisory teachers with support from the Ministry of Education should prepare teachers for any change in the curriculum through in-service and workshop trainings for the effective teaching of Mathematics

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