not fear Mathematics, rural students told
Saturday, 23 August 2003 (Source: Bernama)
Students in rural schools should not fear Mathematics because
it is a subject not difficult to muster if one acquired
the right learning approach, Sabah Chief Minister's Science
and Technology Adviser Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said on
He said much of the problem of poor performance by students
in the subject stemmed from lack of appreciation of mathematics
as a concept and tool of daily living.
"We actually deal with mathematics in almost every part
of our daily lives, from measuring length, distance and
time to counting our purchases, meals and drinks," he explained.
Dr Ongkili was speaking at the launching of the 9th Smart
Mathematics Camp at SMK Telupid near here, organised by
Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in collaboration with the
Science Unit of the Chief Minister's Department and the
The three-day camp attended by 50 top mathematics students
selected from three secondary schools in Telupid is aimed
at enhancing students' appreciation of mathematics and imparting
problem-solving skills to the participants.
"The primary goal of the camp is to instill appreciation
of mathematics as a concept. Once students are able to understand
the values of mathematics as a tool for living, learning
will be painless and the young will begin to love the subject
and enjoy learning and using it," he stressed.
Ongkili, who is also MP for Bandau and Parti Bersatu Sabah
(PBS) deputy president stressed the role of teachers and
parents in encouraging students to develop aptitude and
skills in mathematics.
"Creation of interest and appreciation of technical subjects
such as mathematics by students depends a lot on guidance
and the shepherding role of teachers and parents.
"Today's educational environment is now much more conducive
to learning technical subjects compared to the secondary
school days of my peers in the late 60s where we had to
walk hours to school and burn candles for light in boarding
"Today even in rural schools like SMK Telupid we have computer
labs and smart maths camp like this one. For today's students,
the future is truly in your hands.
"The government has provided enormous amount of assistance
to make it easier for rural students to acquire knowledge
and qualifications. Although needs in rural schools are
still plenty, students have no excuse not to give their
best and aim for excellence in their educational pursuits,"
Also present at the camp launch were Associate Prof Dr Amran
Ahmad who represented the UMS Vice Chancellor, Director
of State Science Unit Mokhtar Yassin Ajam and Principal
of SMK Telupid Rashidie Marujin.