Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why pupils do fail maths and other science subject

Pupils of SS3B in one of the
Federal Government Colleges
endured the 45 minutes
Maths class of Mrs Bolanle Ejoh
(not real names).
But she took no notice of their
lack of interest or the fact that
the period for the lesson had
elapsed and that the next
teacher was waiting outside
to take the pupils in
Though their minds hardly
focused on the figures on the
board and her explanations
fell on deaf ears, the girls did
not dare to call her attention
to the waiting teacher.
She finally noticed him. “I am
sorry for taking your time,”
she said. “Let me quickly
wrap up the topic.” He
replied: “Never mind, I can
even give up my period for
The class suddenly came alive.
“Nooooo!” the girls shouted.
“We want to have Commerce.”
If they had planned it, they
wouldn’t have passed their
message across better. The
shocked Maths teacher
packed her books and left the
class immediately. The
Commerce teacher entered
the class and chided the girls
for being so ungrateful. He
could have been pouring
water on the back of a duck.
As far as the pupils were
concerned, it was good
riddance to bad rubbish.
The pupils,who did not make
extra efforts outside what the
teacher taught them, did not
make good grades in
Mathematics in the Senior
School Certificate Examination
Many attributed their poor
performance to the teacher’s
methods which did not
inspire interest in the subject.
When pupils, particularly at
secondary school level dislike
a subject, many fault the
teacher’s methods. The
situation is not peculiar to
Mathematics which only 38.93
per cent of the 1,540,250
pupils who wrote the May/
June 2011 West African Senior
School Certificate Examination
(WASSCE) passed at credit level.
Pupils, who spoke with The
Nation on the issue, admitted
losing interest in subjects
whose teachers they dislike.
Chidera Onodugo, an SS2 pupil
of Wellspring College, Isheri,
Ikeja, Lagos had battled dislike
for teachers in the past. He
said: “I hated Physical Health
Education (PHE). The teacher
was this scary person that
was strict and she used to
scare us. I didn’t do well so I
dropped the subject when I
was in JSS2. It was the same
teacher that taught us PHE
that taught us Integrated
Science. She taught us in JSS1
and JSS2. I was an average
student in the subject. But, in
SS1, when we had difficulty in
Mathematics, we had a
representative that went to
tell the principal that we did
not like our Maths teacher.
We didn’t understand what he
taught, so they changed him.”
Angela Ange, an SS3 pupil of
Ajegunle Senior High School,
Lagos has closed the door to
scoring good grades in
“I don’t like Economics. I
don’t like it because the
teacher doesn’t teach it well. I
don’t need Economics. I plan
to study Theatre Arts to be an
actress. So, if I fail Economics
it won’t matter.”
Her mother, Mrs Lois Ange,
wants the principal to
“In her last result, she made
credits in all other subjects
and failed only Economics. I
will go to the school to
complain to the principal that
they should change the
teacher,” she said.
Adekoya Samson, a pupil of
Gbagada Senior Grammar
School, has Lonadek Oil and
Gas to thank for organising
the Vision 2020 Summer

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