Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), West Bengal organized an interaction with experts to help the school and college students overcome their phobia in mathematics. Many students experience such fear and are unable to score good marks in mathematics. The programme named MAKAUT er Bandhan was organized under the School Connect initiative of MAKAUT on 10.01.2021 in online mode.
The experts guided the students of schools and colleges to overcome the fear of mathematics and experience a lucid learning process. Students, guardians and teachers of schools and colleges interacted with experts directly in virtual mode. E-Certificates were provided to all.
At the outset, the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of MAKAUT, Prof. (Dr.) Saikat Maitra pointed out that the University aims to inculcate a love for Mathematics amongst the students. This is so, because in future Computer Programming is going to be important for all subjects across professions. Logical thinking power will develop if a student is able to love Mathematics. Thus the school teachers will have to take a long term initiative to help the students overcome their fear in Mathematics.
Prof. (Dr.) Indranil Mukherjee, Director of School of Management Sciences, MAKAUT addressed the school students and said. “Enjoy whatever you are doing and Mathematics is no exception. Continuous practice can help you develop a taste towards Mathematics. It is a subject, which is relevant in every step of life. So, when you study Mathematics ask yourself, why are you learning it? What would have happened if you have not learnt it?”
Prof. (Dr.) Sukhendu Samajdar, the Director of School of Natural, Applied and Social Sciences of MAKAUT stressed the importance of systematic approach, a process of retrieval and emphasize on practice in the teaching of Mathematics. the students must realize that Mathematics is not a source of fear, but fun.
An eminent Professor of Mathematics under West Bengal Educational Service and presently teaching at MAKAUT, WB Dr. Prasanta Narayan Dutta pointed out that, the main reason behind the phobia in Mathematics is a mental blockage. Students often do not have a clear cut idea about the unique nature of Mathematics and try to learn it by heart. But unlike many other subjects, Mathematics cannot be mastered in that way. As soon as a student tries to learn Mathematics by heart, fear creeps in because such a technique does not work at all.
In order to help the students overcome such fear, the teachers have to present the subject in an interesting way. Only memorizing formulae, without understanding would not do. A student has to discover he inherent rhythm in nature, example when snow flakes fall, clouds roam in the sky, in the design of ordinary vegetables like cauliflower, in the shapes of our various organs and so on. These instances of realistic Mathematics should be pointed out before the students, so that they are enthusiastic to learn the subject.
Mastering Mathematics will help to reduce the impact of illogical thinking, present in every individual. Prof. Dutta also pointed out the importance of peer learning, that is problem solving with friends in a group as a very effective technique of mastering Mathematics. A new technique of Formative Evaluation is also important to help the students overcome their fear. In this method, the process of thinking is given importance, not only obtaining the end result or answer.
Dr. Partha Karmakar, Dy. Secretary (Academic), West Bengal Board of Secondary Education advised the teachers to emphasize on various concepts of Mathematics. A knowledge of the history of Mathematics is required and only learning of text books is not sufficient. Organizing of Mathematics Fair, Seminars, Hands-on training are necessary. An advice to the teachers is: “Teach he student, not the subject”. The importance of Mathematics Laboratory is immense in clearing he conception of students.
Mr. Subrata Kumar Biswas, Fellow of Maths in SCERT (WB), said that sincerity and hard work are important in understanding Mathematics and for this there must be a good relationship between the students and teachers.
Prof. (Dr.) Pravangshu Shekhar Das, Guest Prof. MAKAUT Concluded by saying : If you love Maths, then Maths will love you and this is universal truth.
Many students and teachers participated in he question-answer session and interacted with the experts.