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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The controversy about mathematical education in Nigeria
Author:Fakuade, R.A.
Periodical:West African Journal of Education
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subject:mathematics education
Abstract:A controversy over mathematical education in Nigeria was set 'ablaze' in 1976 by the mathematician Professor Chike Obi who called for the abolition of 'modern mathematics' in all Nigerian schools. The supporters of 'modern mathematics' picked up and countered his arguments and his call for the scrapping of the 'new maths'. In the local newspapers this controversy appeared in about eighteen articles of which about two-thirds were in favour of 'modern maths' and about one-third against. The purpose of this article is not to establish a case of the 'majority carrying the vote' nor is it to discredit those who dared argue against the sensational 'modern maths'; it is to show that the whole episode, in the first instance, generated 'more heat than light'; and secondly, that apart from serving the purpose of sensitising the public to the advantages and disadvantages of mathematical studies in Nigerian schools, the whole episode did little towars finding a solution to the perennial problem of mathematical education in the country. The author's opinion is that a choice between 'modern mathematics' and 'traditional mathematics' depends on investment in terms of men and money and that a long time will pass before signs of a lasting solution can be seen. Bibliogr., ref., notes, tab.