International Day of Mathematics: Mathematics essential for development _¬ prof. Onah

A professor of mathematics, Stephen Onah, speaking to mark the International Day of Mathematics stressed the importance of mathematics saying it can not be overemphasised across the world today.

Onah who is the director of the National Mathematical Centre said the subject was highly important especially in the area of power, energy and growth of the economy.

He made this known in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, saying that the government and the private sector should work toward achieving a better society through the learning of mathematics.

The International Day of Mathematics is celebrated every March 14 to create awareness on the importance of the subject for the betterment of the society.

The theme of the 2021 International Day of Mathematics is, “Mathematics for a Better World’’.

“Solar energy is what many countries are beginning to adapt and mathematics is behind it. Solar energy provides better quality life,” Onah said. “The basis of the development of solar power is based on mathematics, so that is one area that the knowledge of mathematics will provide a better life to humanity.”

He said that the centre had produced mathematics kits to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics at the primary and secondary school levels.

Onah explained that the kits helped to demystify the teaching of the subject and promote its learning by pupils and students.

According to him, the kits which are being used by about 72 unity schools across the country comprise mathematics teaching modules, workbooks and mathematics games.

He further said that the centre was implementing a project called the “Mathematics Improvement Project” (MIP), towards improving students’ performance in public examinations in mathematics.


“There is evidence that the MIP is making a positive impact since students’ performance in such public examinations in mathematics, set by such bodies as JAMB, WAEC and NECO is steadily improving,” he said.

Onah, therefore, advised that political leaders should take education very seriously.

“In fact, education should be a priority project both at the governmental and individual level.

“When we talk about community development projects, that is constituency projects, my advice to the politicians is that they should choose development of their young ones educationally.

“Particularly in the area of mathematics; they should choose that as their constituency project.

“There are many things they can do and if they liaise with the National Mathematical Centre, we will be able to guide them on things that they would do in their communities.

“Things that will bring up their young ones in the area of mathematics and mathematical sciences,” he said.

He also urged students to change their attitude toward the learning of mathematics, saying that mathematics is so fundamental in their progression.

“Whether you want to become a business person, farmer, whatever you want to be in life, you will discover that knowledge/education is number one.

“And you cannot run away from the learning of mathematics because it is the one that develops your creativity, ability, logical reasoning which is the basic aspect of your life,’’ he said.

He said that the second principal actor of education is the teacher; hence teachers should be well taken care of.


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