By Cecil Mensah
The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), has expressed worries about the fallen standards in the learning of Science and Mathematics in the country.
Members of the governing council ,led by S.N.Olenu, Director –General of WEAC, and others drawn from the five –member countries in the West African sub-region, expressed this worry at the 21 Endowment Fund Lecture in Accra.
Speaking at the lecture on the topic: ‘Performance in Mathematics and Science: Breaking the jinx’; Prof Jonathan A. Fletcher, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Ghana(UG), said winning the war against the falling standards in the learning of Mathematics and Science, Nigeria seems to be on top, while other member countries, particularly Ghana kept falling.
He said, learning of Mathematics and Sciences in Ghana, continues to fall over the years, stating that in 2007, it was 25.5 percent.
In 2008, it moved to 26.2 percent, 2009 went up to 28.6 percent and 2011, catapulted to 43.8 percent.
According to him, in 2012 it went up to 49.4 percent, giving a sign of hope that the study of Mathematics, will hit 50 percent, but instead in 2013, it dipped to 36.6 percent.
In 2014, he explained that, it fell further to 32.4 percent and the year 2015 recorded the worst in the history of the council when it recorded 24.2 percent passes in Mathematics.
He maintained that as the trend stands, when the study of Mathematics dies, it dies with the study of Science too which does not auger well for the country.
He said a lot of the students seem to attribute their failures in Mathematics and Science to the difficulty of questions set by examiners in an examination.
He said the learning of Mathematics and Science is considered as the panacea for global underdevelopment.
He explained that Mathematics and its associated Science technologies are recognized by the developed governments to boost their economies.
He stressed that Science and Mathematics are the areas to embrace for development because countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan and
China have joined the band wagon of learning Mathematics and Science.
He revealed that this so, because Science and Mathematics solves problems like disease prevention, optimizing energy, taking decisions to enhance Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth.
It is estimated that Ghana can enhance its GDP if it make use of numeracy through vigorous study of Science and Mathematics.
He recommended that Ghana can win the fight against the fallen standards in the study of Mathematics and Science by catching the children young.
Lessons for the study of Science and Mathematics must be made challenging and creative and innovative when it comes to the study of the two subjects he said
He explained that students must be guided to be self- confident when it comes to applying Science and Mathematics in the country.
He called for a special allowance for Mathematics teachers to motivate them to go extra mile to employ innovative ways to teach children to demystify the learning of Mathematics and Science.