Ini­tia­tive helps stu­dents over­come maths pho­bia

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Man­toetse Maama

Young Minds Ed­u­ca­tion Di­rec­tor, James Ma­beta, says the univer­sal Con­cept of Men­tal Arith­metic he in­tro­duced in Le­sotho two years ago is help­ing stu­dents over­come their pho­bia for sci­ence and math­e­mat­ics.

“our ini­tia­tive is called Young Minds Ed­u­ca­tion, which is a men­tal and arith­metic de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme of­fered to chil­dren be­tween the ages of three and 13 years.

“We help chil­dren with their con­cen­tra­tion, ob­ser­va­tion, mem­o­ris­ing, imag­i­na­tion, vi­su­al­is­ing, cal­cu­la­tion speed and abil­ity to process in­for­ma­tion. our pro­gramme com­prises 10 lev­els and each takes three to four months to com­plete,” Mr Ma­beta told the Le­sotho Times this week.

“We have lessons that take two hours per week­end. The pro­gramme has been de­rived from a sys­tem of­fered in over 54 coun­tries, so it is a re­ally tried and tested ini­tia­tive.

“We es­tab­lished it in novem­ber 2012, so this is the sec­ond year it has been run­ning in Le­sotho, and the re­sults have been very pleas­ing as those who have un­der­taken the pro­gramme have man­aged to over­come their pho­bia for the two sub­jects.”

Mr Ma­beta, a Lerotholi Poly­tech­nic gradu- ate, said he de­cided to in­tro­duce the con­cept fol­low­ing his stint as a teacher.

“I was once a teacher and teach­ing math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence sub­jects. Dur­ing that time, I learnt from my stu­dents that they had a pho­bia for math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence. They feared the sub­jects to a point where they would dodge my lessons and come back for the next class.

“This wor­ried me be­cause I thought they did not like me as a per­son, but later learnt from fel­low teach­ers in other schools that they were fac­ing sim­i­lar prob­lems.”

Mr Ma­beta also said stu­dents’ fail­ure to ap­pre­ci­ate maths and sci­ence also neg­a­tively im­pacts on their per­for­mance in other sub­jects.

“As a teacher, I re­alised that we had a prob­lem which started from foun­da­tion level. our chil­dren don’t have a good foun­da­tion for math­e­mat­ics and all other sci­ence sub­jects. That’s the rea­son I de­cided to in­tro­duce this pro­gramme that of­fers math­e­mat­ics at the grass­roots.

This helps kids have a good foun­da­tion and they even fall in love with sub­jects they hated in the past.

“We have a spe­cial Aba­cus that we use to teach kids to do cal­cu­la­tions very fast and ac­cu­rately.”

Mr Ma­beta as­sured par­ents that with this pro­gramme, their chil­dren would never fail math­e­mat­ics again.

“once a child goes through this pro- gramme, he or she will never fail math­e­mat­ics and that I can guar­an­tee you. The pro­gramme gives the chil­dren an op­por­tu­nity to follow any ca­reer in life with­out be­ing re­stricted due to fail­ure in math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence sub­jects.

“This pro­gramme is popular in Asian coun­tries, which is why the gen­eral pop­u­lace there is very good in math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence sub­jects.

“The pro­gramme helps kids have good con­cen­tra­tion and grasp most of the things they learn in class and have good mem­ory as we train them how to ac­com­plish this. That en­ables them to per­form well not only in math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence but other sub­jects as well.”

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