BusinessDay

Schools urged to adopt mental arithmetic teaching skills to enhance students’ performance

Stephen Ofori, country manager of UCMAS Edu Nigeria Limited, has called on Nigerian schools to adopt the Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic (UCMAS), which helps students to conquer the fear of Mathematics.

Speaking at the third UCMAS national competition held in Lagos recently, Ofori said the use of the UCMAS approach has helped to equip students with the confidence to do well in all subjects.

“Since the introduction of mental arithmetic as a brain development programme for children between 5 to 14 years, it has enhanced their ability to think fast and solve Mathematics without the aid of technology,” he said.

According to him, apart from aiding the brain’s power, mental arithmetic helps children to improve their concentration level, speed, accuracy and memory.

“If a child’s learning level is enhanced, the concentration level will also grow. When students’ Mathematics skill is enhanced, their thinking skills also improve. This is what we are trying to replicate with children to help their daily activities in school,” he said.

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Ofori however said that some schools have adopted the programme as part of their academic activities such that UCMAS is currently running in 10 states and training about 6, 000 children on how to enhance their brain capacity on a yearly basis.

Adetola Salau, the senior special assistant to Lagos State Governor on Education, lauded the programme for its impact on children’s development.

She backed the programme to make inroads into schools in the state due to the fact it is important for students to think critically and be able to understand the relevance of Mathematics.

Salau said Mathematics is a language students should utilise to solve and create innovation.

Jane Asim-Ita, a parent, said her children have been able to multitask and do well in all subjects since they started learning mental arithmetic.

On her part, Adetutu Adegoke, lead educator at Great Destination School, Gbagada, said the UCMAS programme has added value to what students are doing in school and has led to great improvement in their understanding of Mathematics.

The competition saw children in kindergarten and basic classes win trophies and cash prizes in keenly contested visual and mental arithmetic speed as well as accuracy tests.