1.1 Background of Study
The study mathematics as a subject in its own right begins in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans, who coined the term ‘’mathematics’’ from the ancient Greek (mathema),meaning ‘’subject of instruct’’. In Nigeria and in other parts of the world, there have been always national interest towards improvement of teaching and learning of sciences and mathematics in particular. The main concern of the educationalists has always been in the improvement of the achievement level of students (Bajah,1984;Akpau 1993). For a nation such as ours aspiring for scientific and technological take –off the need to pay due attention to our students’ academic achievement in mathematics cannot be over emphasized. Ada(2001) said, today’s science is tomorrow’s solution to tomorrow’s problems too. Jegede and Brown (1980) observed that, it is only when science teaching and learning are effectively taught that a nation can be said to be properly developed. This can only come to be if and only mathematics which is the language of sciences is properly taught so as to enhance students’ achievement .The study of mathematics is targeted at providing sound knowledgeable citizenship that would live and contribute positively towards nation building. That is preparation for useful living within the society in accordance with nation’s policy on education (federal Republic of Nigeria 2004) it is said that, the problem of teaching mathematics at the correct time in terms of quantity in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State at secondary school level in resonance with the national policy on education has continued to resist solution in secondary schools in mainly characterized by high percentage of low achievers as is evidence in the poor achievement of students in mathematics examination in the public secondary schools (Azuka 2003). Research has shown that, nothing compares with mathematics in nation building Edwma(2002) also said Nigeria’s future survival and stability is lying on good and poor education. This can only be achieved by effective teaching and learning of mathematics as well as funding which is the foundation bedrock anchor and pillar of science and technology. At this point, it is obvious for one to say that “no mathematics no science and technology.” Due to the declining level of government schools (public schools) the private individuals and groups took up the challenge of providing mathematics manpower at the secondary school level in Guma local government area. Akpan (2005) in his project work said “During the political era, community secondary schools were opened merely to fulfil political promises.” In recent years the number of private secondary schools in the local government is on a high increase. By the year 1976,the state government had taken over all the schools from management of missionaries and private individuals but after a year (1978)the state government permitted communities to open community secondary schools in their areas when some specific conditions are satisfied. The establishment of private secondary schools in the local government has brought inequality in the achievement of public and private secondary schools in mathematics. This is because private schools sector seems to maintain her staff very well by paying them high salaries, giving them special attention more than the other staff, strict supervision other bonuses like Christmas, Easter Selah gifts and above all prompt payment of salaries. Some government critics are of the view that public schools are superior to private secondary schools in the achievement of mathematics goals. They added that, public secondary schools attract most children of the educated high class learning the children from the poor families to attend private schools. On the other hand, the private advocates sound academic achievement in mathematics in favour of them. National Centre for Education Statistics (N.C.E.S)(U.S...
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