By AbdulRaheem Aodu
National Teachers Institute (NTI) is training 65 science and mathematics teachers from Akwa Ibom, Benue, Delta, Ogun and Zamfara states under the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) National In-Service and Training Center (Inset) programme.
The teachers are being trained under the Fifth Cohort, Cycle Three of the SMASE phased training that covers all the states of the federation bar a few.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the two-weeks training programme, the Director-General/Chief Executive of NTI, Prof. Garba Dahuwa Azare, said: “For a nation to develop technologically, special attention must be paid to mathematics and science education.
“The baseline survey conducted by the Federal Ministry of Education on primary mathematics and science education revealed that teachers face serious challenges in teaching mathematics and science. In order to improve the teaching capacity and skills of teachers, Federal Government in collaboration with Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) mounted SMASE.”
He noted that the project, which started with a pilot phase in 2006 with teachers from Kaduna, Niger and Plateau states, had ensured that the quality of lessons of teachers who went through SMASE Inset changed positively compared to those who did not participate following evaluation.
“SMASE Inset comprised three cycles with each lasting for two weeks. The first cycle deals with attitude in teaching mathematics and science, the second on resource mobilisation and utilisation, while the third is on the actualisation of activities, student -centered experiment and improvisation – plan, do, see, and improve Asei Pdsi principle. Asei Pdsi is highly demanding on teachers in terms of time and creativity and as you get used to it, you will prefer it to any other approach in teaching.”
The NTI SMASE Director, Dr Hafsat Lawal Kontagora, in her remarks, said: “The Centre is meant to groom mathematics and science teachers with the skills that would make them more productive and effective. The Asei Pdsi principle is highly advocated and practiced to move our teachers from the talk and chalk method to the activity-based method of teaching and learning where pupils are fully engaged in the lesson from the beginning.”
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