Lack of provision of Mathematics textbooks recommended by the Ghana Education Service (GES), is a major contributory factor to the abysmal performance and low interest of students in Brong Ahafo in the study of the subject.
Mr Charles Osei Bonsu, Regional agent of Sedco-Longman Publishing Limited, dealers in textbooks and educational materials, made the observation with GNA in an interview after a one-day conference, organized by Mathematics Association of Ghana (MAG) for its members in Sunyani at the weekend.
The event was on the theme: “Trend in Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in this Scientific age”, and was attended by more than 200 students of selected Junior High and Senior High Schools (SHS) in the Region.
Mr Bonsu appealed to the Regional Directorate of Education to ensure that all public schools at all levels in the Region are furnished with textbooks written by the MAG.
He said the Association’s textbooks were approved by the GES for use by basic and second cycle schools to prepare students for both the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Mr Bonsu observed that whilst public schools in other Regions used MAG textbooks recommended by the GES, those in Brong-Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions used different textbooks.
He explained that because members of the MAG were examiners, schools that used their textbooks performed creditably in the BECE and WASSCE.
Mr Bonsu cited that almost all private schools in the Region used the MAG textbooks and their students excel in the subject in examinations and gain admission to well-endowed schools to the detriment of their counterparts in public schools.
“Because majority of students, who attend public schools, have branded Mathematics as a difficult subject, there is the need to furnish such schools with good and adequate textbooks for students to develop interest in the study of one of the most significant subjects at that level”, he stated.
Mr Bonsu observed that Mathematics if well taught could be the most interesting subject at basic and secondary schools, and appealed to teachers to encourage students to develop and sustain interest in the study of the subject.
He observed that many SHS graduates had ended their education at that level because they failed in core Mathematics and advised teachers to make teaching and learning of the subject lively to improve student performance.
Mr Bonsu entreated parents to encourage their children to take the study of Mathematics seriously.