The Numbers Disease: Why Students Show Disinterest For Mathematics

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Mathematics is one of the essential skills a student should learn in school. However, because of several contributing factors, children show disinterest in the subject. Therefore, it makes their learning progress slow and worries educators regarding students’ performance.

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics presented that 617 adolescents who do not meet the minimum proficiency levels in learning mathematics. From this number, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Southern Asia have the most students with weak math and reading efficiency. Thus, it posed a threat to the UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals and considered a waste of human potential.

Experts revealed the different reasons why various students dislike mathematics. In a paper by K. Abdul Gafoor and Abidha Kurukkan from the University of Calicut, most of the respondents said that they show minimal interest towards the subject because they could not understand the topics and could not solve the problems presented in the book. Furthermore, other interviewees said they find their math classes boring.

These circumstances directly affect the children’s performance. The poor comprehension and interest could cause students to continue to struggle and fail the subject eventually. If their inability to comprehend prevails, it might also cause them to do poorly in examinations and future classes.

In Montgomery County of Maryland, the rate of failing students in Algebra peaked at 82 percent. School authorities also said that adjusting test scores did not clearly show a benefit towards helping pupils understand the subject matter.

Because of the alarming situation, many teachers try to think of ways to make math more interesting and understandable to their students. Teaching experts suggest activities such as role-playing, learning dance steps and songs relating to the topic, using real-world examples. They add that educators should also encourage peer tutoring to instill teamwork in the classroom.

Further, parents should also be patient towards their young ones. The Deccan Herald suggests that parents should not force their wards to read the syllabus in advance because it might confuse the learner. They could also incorporate activities while tutoring their children to maintain interest and eliminate the fear of numbers once instilled in them.

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