Why students fear maths

Mathematics is one of the core subjects taught in school from grades I to X. Generally, learning mathematics is not fun for the majority of learners as it contains specialised knowledge that requires analytical and logical thinking.

Mathematics is considered the most important subject all over the world largely because it is integrated with many subjects.

Many researchers have concluded that no country has attained any economic breakthrough without the development of a minimum mathematics base. There is worldwide concern about learners’ poor performance in mathematics.

A study done in Baitadi district, in far-west Nepal, has shown that students’ performance in mathematics there is poor compared to other subjects.

This year, too, most of the students failed in mathematics in the SEE with others securing just C and D grades.

The academic performance in mathematics has become a yardstick for measuring our education system. Most of the renowned academic institutions require good marks in mathematics as an entry requirement for a career in engineering, medicine, accounting, technology and other fields that involve science.

Students’ low performance in mathematics in Baitadi district has been caused by students’ negative attitude towards mathematics, lack of prior knowledge of the subject matter, little tuition time at school, poor school environment, no peer interaction, less parental involvement and traditional methods of teaching.

Students show their like or dislike for mathematics depending upon the manner in which the content is delivered.

Students in Baitadi have some kind of anxiety regarding mathematics.

The problem is emotional rather than intellectual.

An emphasis on drills without understanding its core concept is the reason behind their poor performance.

Mathematics is a complex social activity. So, it should not be taught without relating it to various social activities. Besides this, the students in Baitadi neither have opportunities for extra tuition in mathematics nor do they get any help from their parents. Moreover, most of the government schools are crowded, with little physical infrastructure or teaching materials.

In addition to this, teachers are not well trained and adopt the traditional method of teaching, that is why, they depend on drills and do not relate things with the social phenomena. Most of the things could be learnt effectively through group discussion and peer interaction.