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Don underscores importance of Mathematics

A professor of mathematics at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Samuel Okoya, has said the relegation of mathematics will adversely affect all aspects knowledge.
Developed countries have utilised the opportunities offered by the current phenomenal increase in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

“Despite these, it is a common belief that mathematics has no relevance to everyday living,” he said.

Okoya said the two major players in the governance of any nation were the government and the private sector. According to him, government, being the enabler and the facilitator, needs regular knowledge of mathematics in form of logic in order to take logical, reasonable and accurate decisions.

He said it would also enable government to come up with laws and policies that would establish enabling environment, which would assist the private sector to grow and prosper.

According to him, the private sector, on the other hand, cannot also do without mathematics, since committing one’s capital to economic activities and managing the business require some elements of mathematics.

He said mathematics, by all standards, was central to everyday living as well as governance.

“For instance, if we want to solve any problem (usually of a physical nature), we first have to formulate the problem from conversation laws as mathematical expression in terms of variables, functions and equations.

“Such an expression is usually known as mathematical model of the given problem,” he said.

Earlier in his address, the National President of the association, Dr Sunday Adeniran, said the theme of this year’s conference was apt, considering the fact that the country was in an era of change.

“Hence, we are looking at the area of mathematics and economic recovery, agricultural development, curriculum, human and technological development as well as good governance,” Adeniran said.

He said recent reports had shown that there was notable improvement in the performance of students in mathematics in national examinations.

The association president said there was, however, room for improvement, as the association was making effort to intensify its workshops to enable the country to get the desired result.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports Okoya made the assertion in a paper he presented at the 54th annual conference of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.

The theme of this year’s conference is, ‘Mathematics as a key to sustainable change in growth and development.’

The don said, “Mathematics deals with logical reasoning and quantitative calculations. This is why mathematics has remained a prerequisite subject to pass for placement into our higher institutions.

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