Upgrading our maths skills

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Our literacy focus at Neesim School has really been paying off.  However, maths skills are equally important if our pupils want to succeed at high school and go on to further education.  Poor performance at maths is a country-wide problem, and we also face this challenge at Neesim School.   We have begun to tackle this issue through remedial classes and teacher training, and are still on the lookout for one or two Western teachers to come and volunteer to help us with this.

During March 2017 we organised three days of in-service maths training for our teaching team, led by Mr Sumani Yakubu, head of the maths department at Bagabaga College of Education, one of the leading teacher training institutions in Ghana.

The training was attended by our whole teaching team and covered a range of topics from pre-number activities and number work in kindergarten, through calculations using integers and fractions, to preparing pupils for the BECE maths exam at the end of Junior High.  It also covered skills for lesson note preparation and lesson presentation, and the use of teaching and learning materials.

IMG-20170328-WA0007We were pleased with the content and practical nature of the training, both in terms of helping the teachers to understand the mathematical concepts themselves and also training them in how to teach it.

A few of our teachers commented on the difference the training has made:

“I learnt a lot during the training.  One new thing I learnt was how to guide pupils to fold papers to work fractions and how to shade fractions on the paper.” – Teacher Hawa

“I learnt how to count objects in a way which is more practical for KG and lower primary.  I also learnt that we make generalisations in mathematics but as a teacher you have to come out with more examples for the pupils – at least three examples for them to discover it on their own. More so, I learnt a lot of games about pre-number work (matching, sorting, and ordering).  I was motivated as a KG teacher through the facilitator’s guidance.” – Teacher Imoro

“The training helped me to learn how to identify mixed fractions and proper fractions.  I also learned from the training that negative plus negative can never give you a positive.  They also used some of the teaching and learning materials from our storeroom to show us how to use them in class.” – Teacher Fataw