JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is challenging teachers to find new and creative ways of teaching mathematics to students, including the incorporation of technology.
“Don’t be afraid of technology; don’t feel, necessarily, that you are less of a person if you use the technology to aid the current process,” he said.
Senator Reid was speaking to JIS News following the Jamaica Public Service (JPS)/Marubeni Caribbean Power Scholarship Awards ceremony on Thursday (March 23), at the JPS offices located at 6 Knutsford Boulevard in Kingston.
He informed that approximately 70 mathematics coaches have been placed in schools to assist teachers and “we look forward to, over time, put in specialist maths teachers in the primary system”.
He urged teachers to excite and motivate their students to learn.
“Learning needs to be fun… . If we are going to make sure that our students master mathematics, the teaching has got to be fun as well. We can’t, therefore, approach it in such a way where they lose interest,” he said.
The awards ceremony was to recognise 15 schools that received the highest ranking following tests under the Calculation Time programme.
The Japanese-owned Marubeni Caribbean Power, which is the parent company of JPS, presented $100,000 to each institution for the purchase of learning resources and equipment to improve the teaching and learning of maths.
Introduced in 2011, Calculation Time is a collaborative effort between the Governments of Japan and Jamaica and is designed to improve students’ knowledge and appreciation of mathematics.
The initiative incorporates the use of games, toys, music and other non-traditional tools as a means of making the subject fun for the students.
The Education Minister lauded the partnership between the countries in improving student achievement in mathematics.
He noted that JPS will require a reservoir of quality trained persons, so it is in the company’s best interest to invest in a programme of mathematics.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Marubeni Caribbean Power Inc. Tatsuya Ozono, said the company is pleased to support education in Jamaica.
He commended the Japanese Embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) “which have continued this Calculation Time programme for five years”.
He encouraged children to value the subject of mathematics, adding that it is the language that drives science.
“It is quite a useful tool to find a logical solution when you face problems. I wish that you will work hard and enjoy the art of science,” he said.
The Calculation Time programme is now available in the form of an app at https://goo.gl/aSuP71 and is accessible to all students at the primary level.