# Problem Of Teaching And Learning Of Mathematics In Senior Secondary Schools (Case Study Of Enugu North LGA Of Enugu State)

## Abstract

The topic “Problem of Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Senior Secondary Schools in Enugu North” has been a problem for some years now, that the teaching and learning of mathematics has brought a problem to our future bright who takes mathematics as a difficult subject to read as course and to teachers in our schools today, the statement of the problem tells that despite all the noble efforts, the problem of poor achievement in mathematics has continued to rear it’s head as a core difficult subject in science, the purpose of the study is aimed at what is the factors in teaching and learning of mathematics, to examining that strategies that could cause the difficulty in the teaching and learning and the extent government support to improve mathematics setback, the scope of study was limited this work to some secondary schools in Enugu North, the significance of the study explain the who is the beneficiary and how they benefits in the chapter two it talks about the review of related literature.

It is always on the increase in the light of this significant problems of teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State, however, the centre of interest in our senior secondary school mathematics. In the process of the study, three (3) research questions were formulated and to validate these research questionnaire. Seven secondary schools was randomly selected from the entire population. Research instrument in form of questionnaire was administered to the area involved in the study.

On the whole, thirty-five (35) respondents were collected. Based on the findings of this study, some recommendations were made as follows, government and other stakeholders in education should provide adequate facilities and conducive environment to enable teachers on their part, must assume positive professional attitude, and should employ more qualified teachers and those with qualification lower than (NCE) should be sponsored for in-service training and distance education programme.

Conclusively, more effort should be made to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools for positive change in the teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State

## Chapter One

### Introduction

#### 1.1 Background of the Study

Mathematics education is the bedrock of scientific and technological development in any country. According to Baiyelo (1987) mathematics is widely recognized as the language of science; consequently, Nigeria as a developing country needs scientific innovation in teaching and learning process and as such requires mathematician that would enable the early and proper realization of this desire. Unfortunately, the position of mathematics education in the country at the moment is far from being impressive.

Therefore, the place of mathematics in development of any nation cannot be overemphasized.

According to Betiki (2001), mathematics education has been widely acclaimed to be the index of measuring any nation’s socio-economic and geo-political development. 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 levels of education. The compulsory nature of mathematics carries with it, the assumption that the knowledge of the subjects is essential for all members of our society. Furthermore, mathematics competence is a critical determinant of the post-secondary educational and career options available to young people.

Barrow and Woods (1987) emphasized the need to make mathematics a compulsory subject at the primary and secondary levels, if scientist technologists and engineers are to be produced. However, it is also important to note that in our universities, the teaching and learning of mathematics should considerate on the quality of the products. The quality of mathematics that will pave way for the much needed pursuit in science and technology at the higher level. This is because good quality has to do with the attainment of standards and according to Ohuche (1988) the proper and meaningful study of mathematics should assist individual in ordering, organizing and investigating his/her environment. This is only possible through active personal experience with material resources. In essence Obodo (2000), lamented the poor state of mathematics instruction in Nigeria and averred that the problem of quality of mathematics instruction and learning are from diverse sources. The teacher has been accused to be responsible for the low quality of student performance in our secondary schools.

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 has remained consistently poor, from here alarming evidence of lack of mathematics laboratory and other resources abound that will improve learning effectiveness and promote excellence in mathematics. It has been conformed and re-affirmed through research, that resourceful teaching strategy is learner centred and problem solving oriented and this can not be implemented successfully in the absent of equipment.

Mathematics educators have put up efforts aimed at identifying the major problems associated with the teaching and learning of mathematics in the nation’s schools. Despite all these efforts, the problem of poor achievement in mathematics has continued to rear its head in the nation’s public examinations.

This research examines the core board of mathematics where the problems of teaching and learning is so difficult in mathematics today. Mathematics as a subject deals with different topics under it, which students see as a difficult subject to study, because most of the teachers who treat the subject don’t go into detail of simplifying the topics under mathematics in details.

In respect, statistics have shown difficulty in teaching and learning of mathematics, has resulted in mass failure in examinations. The mass failure in mathematics examination is real and trend of students performance has been on the decline.

A cluster of variables have been implicated as responsible for the dismal performance of students. These includes government related variables, curriculum rebated variables, examination body related, teacher, student, home and textbook related variables. A part from these variables, Amazigbo J.C. (200) has identified poor primary school background in mathematics, lack of incentives for teachers, unqualified teachers in the system, lack of learners interest, perception that mathematics is difficult, large classes and psychological fear of the subject as factors responsible for the dismal performance of students in the subject.

Osafemniti (1986) contends that curriculum changes in mathematics have occurred in several countries for one reason or the other, but more importantly 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, looses 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.

For a subject like mathematics which is as also a 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.

However, these are factors that can hinder the effective teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary schools today. Hence, this piece of work has come to check and see how to bring this filthy menace to the nearest minimum. In this quest previous researcher found out that over 50% of every WAEC candidates fails mathematics. Considering this, the researchers reported while in the field, 80% of the student find it difficult to learn the course “mathematics”, 15% are interested in the “learning” while 5% “enjoys” it. This is just to say that the fear which has been inculcated in them as a result of WAEC results. This factor is also responsible for the lack of interest and non-challenat attitude towards the learning of mathematics.

Furthermore, these reluctant manners of the student tends to discourage the teachers, because where there is no or less encouragement, then discouragement, one tends to grow cold.

#### 1.2 Statement of the Problem

The poor performance of students in mathematics in senior secondary school has been a thing of concern associated with senior secondary school mathematics. Despite all these noble efforts, the problem of poor achievement in mathematics has continued to rear its head. It is based on this fact that this research identified mathematics as a core difficult subject in science where student’s performance has always been low.

#### 1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study is aimed at:

- Identifying the factors that the difficulty in teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary school in Enugu North local Government Area of Enugu State.
- Examining the strategies that could remedy the difficulty in the teaching and learning mathematics in the Senior Secondary School in Enugu North local Government Area of Enugu State.

#### 1.4 Significance of the Study

##### The Beneficiary:-

Looking at the significance of this study, students are the beneficiary of this study, the reason why they are the beneficiary of this study is that, they don’t have the knowledge of mathematics which they have come to the classroom to have that which they don’t know.

##### How they can benefit from this study?

- The students can benefit from this study mathematics when enough guide is giving to them to learn the study mathematics and this are the way in which they can benefit.
- They can benefit by giving them a guide to the subject, through giving them problems to solve, also by allowing them to use ICT tools as appropriate and where available, to enhance a better communication of their mathematical ideas, which include display calculators, screen shots, spreadsheets and so on.

#### 1.5 Research Question

- What factors are responsible for the difficulty in the teaching of mathematics in the senior secondary school sector in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State?
- What strategies could be adopted to enhance better teaching and learning of mathematics in the senior secondary school sector in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State?
- What is the level of government support to improve mathematics setback in the senior secondary school sector in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State?

## Chapter Five

### 5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations

This chapter discuses the following:

- Summary of Findings
- Conclusions
- Recommendations
- Suggestions for further student

#### 5.1 Summary of Findings

The study was designed to find out the problems of teaching and learning mathematics in senior secondary schools, Enugu North Local Government Area in Enugu State.

##### Restatement of the Problem

The poor performance of students in mathematics at both internal and external school examinations in senior secondary school has been a thing of concern to mathematics educators, parents and governments.

Telimal Adolphus (June 2011) state that the chief examiners annual reports in mathematics in the senior school certificate examinations (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) are good testimonies of those facts. Mathematics educators have put in efforts with senior secondary school mathematics. Despite all these noble efforts the problem of poor achievement in mathematics has continued to rear its head. It is based on this fact that this research identified mathematics as difficult subject in science where students performance has always been low.

After the analysis of the data collected, the following are summarized:-

- The foundation of most mathematics teacher is poor.
- The students have poor foundation in mathematics, as such cannot solve problem even when similar examples are given.
- The teaching and learning environment are not conducive. This is in line with lack of infrastructure and basic facilities for teaching and learning of mathematics.
- Attitude of students towards learning is very por. They lack the willingness and readiness to learn.
- The teachers lack commitment due to lack of motivation.
- It was also found that if the necessary previous are made and proper monitoring are made on the students and teachers, these problems will be a thing of the past.

#### 5.2 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were made:-

- The state government should as a matter of urgency send mathematics teachers for training and seminars in our secondary schools.
- The government should endeavour to provide the necessary infrastructures and facilities that will motivate teaching and learning of mathematics.
- Teachers should try as much as possible to relate their lesson to real life situation in order to reduce abstract nature of the subject.
- The government should come up with packages that will motivate mathematics teachers and reward hardworking teachers and students.
- The appropriate bodies responsible for the monitoring of teachers and students should be made to leave up the expectations.

#### 5.3 Conclusions

From the findings of this study, it is concluded that the problem of teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government of Enugu State is that teachers, parents and poor environment are responsible for the problem of teaching and learning of mathematics.

#### 5.4 Limitation of the Findings

In the process of research in this topic, the problem of teaching and learning of mathematics in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State, we encountered some constraints in this work but with the assistance of the project research supervisor, it made possible to write.

#### 5.5 Suggestion for Further Studies

In the case of suggestion to the problem of teaching and learning mathematics in senior secondary; we ask the government to help and provide the instructional aids use in the teaching and learning of mathematics to be effective to the student as all other social subjects in the school/curriculum. The government should also organize a seminar for the teachers involved in the teaching and learning of mathematics to have the better knowledge of impacting skills to the students to have a better of the subject mathematics.

The environment of the mathematics class should be well conducive for the teaching and learning of mathematics to the students. Teachers should know the appropriate time of teaching mathematics to the students to understand what the teacher is solving to them.

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