Computer enhanced learning for mathematics in Malawi

2019-05-03T14:00:25Z (GMT) by Matthews A. Ngwale
Mathematics is a dreaded subject all over the world more so in third world countries. Results in Malawian examination papers clearly show a higher failure rate in mathematics than other subjects. New teaching methods are needed to revolutionalise pupils' perspective of mathematical concepts and help them see mathematics as a doing subject independently or as a service discipline. The new teaching methods must be seen to make mathematical experience accessible to pupils which will in turn promote pupils' enjoyment of mathematics. Lack of student active participation in present mathematics teaching methods and abstraction in some topics puts off weaker or slow learning students and develops in such students a sense of defeat and demotivation towards the subject. In Britain and other developed countries, syllabuses and teaching methods are constantly under review. In some cases new syllabuses are adopted without prior training for teachers causing additional problems, e.g. the new GCSE syllabus in U.K. which is new in methodology, content and assessment methods. This research, carried out for Malawi, particularly for the Polytechnic, looks at how this massive percentage of under achievement can be reduced. It also exposes the instructional ineffectiveness and inefficiency at learning tasks. The importance of in-service training for secondary and primary school mathematics teachers is also highlighted. Computers can be a key to realising educational goals such as promoting pupil-directed inquiry, enhancing the development of scientific and mathematical concepts and addressing more efficiently the learning needs of individual children in mixed ability and overcrowded classrooms. An assessment of Computer Enhanced Learning for the improvement and reinforcement of present teaching methods is therefore made. Finally, a set of recommendations for the improvement of mathematics education in Malawi is suggested to the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Polytechnic for implementation.